Prospects

8th Annual NY Rangers Top 25 Under 25: Numbers 10-6

Today we continue with the 8th Annual NY Rangers Top 25 Under 25.  To recap, the ground rules for this list are simple: To qualify for this list, a player must be under 25 years old. It doesn’t matter if this player is in the NHL, AHL, or in any of the leagues around the world. If they are Ranger property and under 25, they were considered.

Reviewing who we’ve covered already:

Aged Out (1): Pavel Buchnevich
No longer with the Rangers (5): Sean DayJoey KeaneLias Andersson, Vinni Lettieri, Ville Meskanen
2020 RankingsHonorable mentions25-2120-16, 15-11
2019 Rankings: Honorable mentions, 25-2019-1514-1110-65-1

10. Matthew Robertson – Defense, 2019 2nd round pick (LY: 16)

Matthew Robertson is the best NY Rangers prospect that no one is talking about yet. The theme has been showing improvement, and Robertson followed up his draft year by doubling his goal total and adding 50% to his point total. The 6’3″, 200 lb left defenseman is going to give K’Andre Miller a run for his money as top LD in the prospect system.

Robertson is a great skater and very sound in all three zones. His positioning and reads are superb. His passing is a critical asset to his game to help in transition. Already signed to his ELC, the Rangers are very high on him. If the CHL/NHL transfer rules were different, he’d already be in the AHL.

9. Filip Chytil – Forward, 2017 1st round pick (LY: 2)

Chytil is perhaps the 2C of the future. He made tremendous progress in his second full season. He’s shown he’s a play driver and a three zone center. We also saw the flashes of his ceiling with those highlight reel drives to the net.

It looks like Chytil will get every opportunity to expand on his solid showing last season. The big thing, as has been mentioned numerous times, is showing improvement. Chytil has made strides each of his past two seasons, and looks primed to take a big step forward next season.

It’s worth noting that Chytil’s progression compares very favorably to Aleksander Barkov in Florida. There’s no guarantee, obviously. But it’s worth noting.

8. Vitali Kravtsov – Forward, 2018 1st round pick (LY: 3)

Vitali Kravtsov drops on this list because he lost a year of development with the injuries last season. It was rough for him, but he’s tearing up the KHL at the moment. In 13 games, he has eight goals –the most on his team– and ten points. Perhaps he just needed a full injury free season to get going again.

Despite falling in this list, Kravtsov’s ceiling is still a top-six winger. He’s a dynamic offensive talent, capable of making even the best defensemen look silly. He’s a great skater with a nose for the net and the hands/shot to go with it. Don’t sleep on him because of one injury riddled year.

As an aside, it looks like he has higher upside than Chytil, which is why he gets the higher spot. Ceiling matters.

7. Nils Lundkvist – Defense, 2018 first round pick (LY: 8)

Last year Lundkvist was one spot ahead of DeAngelo, this year they flip places. This is by no fault of Lundkvist, who again showed great progress last season. Lundkvist is already one of the top defensemen in the SHL, and there are rumblings that the coronavirus pandemic is why he didn’t sign his ELC with the Rangers this season.

Lundkvist is a true three zone defenseman. An elite skater who makes great reads, passing and playmaking is obviously his strength. He’s adding muscle as well, which is helping him defend the front of the net in the defensive zone.

Lundkvist has the potential to be the future 1RD on the Rangers. He’s that good.

6. Tony DeAngelo – Defense, trade from Arizona (LY: 9)

What a year it was for DeAngelo. He more or less quadrupled his goal total from last season and was on an 82-game pace of 18-48-66. He has a lot of defensive issues, but you can’t ignore the scoring or that pace. DeAngelo now has a two year deal to show improvement and round out his game. And remember, everyone has room for improvement, even Connor McDavid.

DeAngelo actually turned 25 two days ago, but I started the list while he was still 24. Technically that counts as under 25, so I’m cheating a bit.

For those wondering why DeAngelo isn’t in the top five, and I’m sure there will be a few comments, take a step back and think about who is left.

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  • “It doesn’t matter if this player is in the NHL, AHL, or in any of the leagues around the world. If they are Ranger property and under 25, they were considered.” — the questions is, how were they actually “considered”.

    I think the trouble some people are having with your list Dave is that many here value NHL performance as greater than just being a prospect who has never played a game in the NHL. So the list to some seems skewed towards potential. This is why people were upset over Lindgren’s ranking — just saying. 😉

      • Are these the best young talent or the talent with the most potential. Either way, most if not all of your 25 would fit into either category.

        • It’s a balance of what we see, what the scouting reports say his ceiling is, and what is to come.

          These rankings, for the most part, have a lot of volatility year to year. Chytil was top-3 the last few years, and now he’s #9.

      • I wasn’t disagreeing with your list, I was merely pointing out where some people are coming from. I imagine people want NHL performance to count for something, but in the case of someone like Lafreniere his potential is so high that NHL performance can be assumed.

        • It does, otherwise Nils would be ahead of TDA. I’m on record saying Nils is going to be better, but he hasn’t been in the NHL yet, and TDA put up 60 points.

      • This is a childish comment. You listed one of the top five players under 25 as #16. You were called on it. So you attack your critics by saying that we think Lindgren should be #1.

        JFTR: the top five should be Shesterkin, Lafreniere, Kakko, Fox, Lindgren in that order. That is pretty much the ceiling order. You may not like Lindgren but a being a true first pair left defenseman is a pretty high bar, one for example likely above DeAngelo.

        Of course, this dispute has nothing to do with potential. The bottom line is “what is the value of a grade A shutdown defenseman who provides relatively little offense.?” You think not very much and some of us heartily disagree.

        On a side note, if we ignore the Lindgren fiasco, your 10-6 list is quite reasonable.

        • Congrats. That’s your opinion. We’ve established that opinions will change.

          Your problem is thinking your opinion is fact. I’d recommend taking a step back here. You like Lindgren, I get it. That’s cool, so do I. I disagree with his ceiling.

          I don’t mind criticism, make it constructive and have a discussion. Don’t do what you’re doing right now, which is basically attacking me for my opinion.

          It’s my site. I’ll post my opinion. Be an adult and disagree with maturity. Otherwise yes, I’m going to troll you.

          • This is going to be strictly factual. You listed Lindgren as #16. A number of us said that you placed him too low. You responded in this thread and I believe previously by intimating that it was ridiculous to place Lindgren above Lafreniere, so what did we want. That was certainly a somewhat ridiculous strawman argument.

            That may or may not qualify as childish, but it at least skirts the line. I did not attack you for your opinion, rather for bringing up Lafreniere to belittle tanto’s opinion.

            Second, my observation that you do not value good stay at home defensemen who do not contribute offensively is also fact, not opinion. Now, my belief that you are wrong here is just my opinion, just as your belief that you are right is your opinion. However, you cannot deny that there is a spectrum of opinion on this subject and you are clearly at one end of it (extreme positions are not necessarily wrong!)

          • I was simply trying to explain to Dave (who seemed incredulous at the time) why a great number of posters disputed SOME of his rankings — Lindgren being by far the best example. His “simple” ground rules didn’t really explain the basis for the rankings … I mean how do you weigh “potential” (both in terms of ceiling and floor) versus where a player actually IS — what’s our formula here. Maybe if from the start he had suggested that “potential” was the guiding factor, there wouldn’t have been the same level of dispute.

            Now I really like Lindgren’s game, but I wouldn’t personally put him in the Top 5, probably not Top 10 even, but I think a great argument could be made that he should at this time be put somewhere in the 11-12 range. I mean how is he not clearly better than say Reunanen, Pajuniemi, Gauthier (at this stage) … even Zac Jones, whom I really like, but let’s be honest has a way to go before we can claim greater value than Lindgren. Lindgren has established himself (in my eyes) as a Top 4 guy in a shutdown role, RIGHT NOW.

          • Considering those 1st two players will never get a sniff at the NHL, you would be correct that Lindgren should be ahead of them.

            I would rate Edström & Sjalin well ahead of them.

  • What I take away from the under 25 list is that the Rangers have a plethora of young very talented hockey players in their system. Whether or not they make the jump to the NHL is anyone’s guess. But it is exciting as a hockey fan watching a player develop and make a impact in the big league.

  • The NYR need to start turning potential talent into reality at the NHL level. All 25 players mentioned seem to have NHL potential, but the organization needs to guide these players through their junior leagues and into the AHL. If these players are as good as advertised, then our AHL team should start to lead the league.

    • the rebuild is only 2 years old. it takes 3-5 years for propsects, esp d, to even scratch the nhl surface. weve been spoiled that we had two top 3 picks in that time span and even that isnt a guarantee. Chytil went through the AHL already – he was too good. also not every pick is even gonna work out (see lias) so you need to account for that too.

      • I’m sorry, 5 years in for Drury as director of player development (and 4 as AGM) and who has he developed? How many has he run off? How many of them have done good things elsewhere?

        Asides from Shestyorkin carrying him for half a season, Hartford has won bupkis since he became AGM.

        Local boy, won at every level, yada yada yada, but the Peter principle is in full effect.

  • From what I’ve seen of Kravtsov in the K, if he can stay healthy(a big if,) I can feel comfortable about moving Buchnevich out for someone that will be cost controlled a lot longer going forward. Extend him, bonus it, then ship him out.

    Kravtsov is everything we wanted out of Buchnevich, but it took him a lot less time to figure it out.

    I’m sure it will be like Kovalev in the end, but the CBA is a harsh mistress.

    • I agree but I still think Kravs is a year or two away from even mimicking what Buch brings to the table right now. I would keep Buch around another year or so and trade him sometime after the expansion draft — there’s a physical aggressiveness that has developed in Buch’s game over the last year or so that Kravs is just starting to exhibit — but I agree that he’s figuring it out seemingly faster than Buch.

    • Reenavipul

      That is a true objective post, and may well be the route the team takes real soon. Kravs has so much more upside than Buch ever had in my opinion!!!!!!!!!!!

      • Kravs was a top 10 pick with lots of expectations. Buch was a third rounder is turning out to b e a high value pick. Kudos to those who identified and picked him

  • I’m assuming this has k’andre miller 5th. Does he really have the offensive upside to be ahead of tda, kravtsov or nils ?

    • Virtually every national prospect evaluator has soured a bit on Miller, especially vs. Nils. Miller apparently had a mediocre 2nd season at Wisconsin while Lundkvist seemed to have out performed expectations by a wide margin. Lundkvist’s skill set is very similar to Fox. Miller is a real wild card, but people in the know are definitely questioning his upside, especially offensively. Of course only time will tell but very surprising that Dave has Nils at 7 and K’Andre no higher than 5.

      • Most rankings ive seen have miller fallen out of their ranked prospect top 50s . meanwhile nils and and vk are. i think this list is def more going based on fandom rather than on ice results. (on that criteria i really dont expect tda to be ahead of him but.. how can you put a guy with 53 NHL points last year say 8th?)

      • It’s the difference between the two teams he played for, the better one in his freshman year and the slight disaster of the team from last year — plus injury. Nothing has really changed with Miller aside from the fact he didn’t put up the offensive glossy numbers from his freshman year. That and also the fact he got burned on a big goal in the WJC.

    • “Does he really have the offensive upside to be ahead of tda, kravtsov or nils ?”

      No but Dave is clearly taking a lot of stock from social media fandom… There have been better D men who have needed more time to develop, like 1-2 full season’s worth, down in the AHL… We all saw how bad he looked for team USA.. Reports show that he struggled at the position in the college ranks for two years in a row… Now we’re suppose to think that all he needs is 3-5 months worth of AHL?

      There is no way that he can pull a Kevin Hayes and switch positions on the fly… Or pull a Adam Fox and jump right into the big league’s. Both of those college player’s had spent more time in the NCAA. Miller in the meantime jumped ship to get paid (no shame) but that will come with some consequences.

  • **Kravtsov** “He’s shown he’s a play driver and a three zone center.” Fixed it for you Dave…

    You wasted that narrative on a center who still has a lot of trouble playing D below the slots or along the boards in the DZ( he still needs better puck management that below the dots as well)… He can’t make that play that you’re suppose to make inside the NZ without the puck (has trouble reading the play with the puck) …

    It’s like your a cornerback or free safety in football… There’s plays that you need to make to slow down the attacking WR’s… If you ever played a level as high as jr
    varsity, than you already know this… Well in hockey, the top tier center’s who have nice 200 ft game’s have able sticks, high IQ’s and body position to stop what is coming towards them.. Zib might not be the best defender/shutdown man but he lives for those kinds of plays(turnovers)…

    • The numbers and video I’ve watched repeatedly on Chytil shows he’s fine in the defensive end. He’s not stellar, but he’s certainly not bad.

      Chytil has shown flashes of what you say here, he just needs to be more consistent.

      • “he just needs to be more consistent.”

        Serious question. Is this always possible? I haven’t watched Chityl (or hockey) nearly as much as you have. What struck me early on was that he looked good at times, but took lots of shifts off. My question is are all players really capable of showing up for every shift or do some players really have to pick their spots. Obviously stamina varies from one guy to the next.

        Of course, I’m speaking in generalities here. Even if the competitive level of a Callahan or a Zuccarello is beyond some players, it may still be achievable by the still very young Chityl. But might it be a place where some players, desire or no desire, cannot get to.

        • He is… wait for it… 21. barely. kreider debuted at this age. chytil has 25 goals already. you know which 20 year old is consistently great? sidney crosby. Elias Petersson, conor McDavid.

        • It is not always possible, but the numbers suggest Chytil should be able to take the next step as the 2C. He might miss, he might not, but if he pans out as the 2C, then ranking him #9 here makes me look silly.

          • I had him a few spots higher, but I don’t think anyone can really quarrel with your ranking here. None of us can predict the trajectory of these kids with certainty. As for my own expectations for Chityl, I would neither be surprised by a HOF career or a guy who can never get established as a top six forward.

  • This is all opinion writing on Dave’s part, so I think getting bent out of shape about differing opinions doesn’t make a whole lot of sense.

    IMO, I’d rank Tony D in the top 5 because he racked up 53 points and was on pace for over 60 before the season was called. NHL points are the reality and a key measure that everyone else is measured against as prospects. Tony did it in the reality zone of NHL games.

    Kravstov is opening eyes and I am quite enthusiastic about the young Ruskie. The one worry right now is durability, so here is hoping that the kid gets through the rest of the KHL season without further injuries. He looks like the real deal though further development and some more muscle are needed.

    I am also a big fan of Chytil. He is coming along nicely. Is he ready for 2C? Maybe not, but he is getting there. I think we will see him make further strides in the upcoming season.

    Altogether, when your top 5 includes the 1rst and 2nd picks of last year’s draft and the prior year’s draft, your future looks pretty bright.

  • “Matthew Robertson is the best NY Rangers prospect that no one is talking about yet.”

    Sorry David, as I said last week, Zac Jones is. Because Robertson gets some play with the fans, while Jones gets none.

    Nice to see top 5 prospects last year are now in the 6 to 10 range.

    • Except I have more faith in Robertson’s ceiling than Zac Jones — again I really like what I’ve seen of Jones, but what I saw of Robertson (especially in last year’s camp) puts him ahead right now. Of course that can change in the blink of an eye, hopefully Jones plays this year.

      • Actually, I’m not saying that Robertson is not better than Jones, just saying that I think that Jones will be an NHL player at some point, and no Ranger fans talk about him at all.

        I think that Robertson may be with the Rangers as soon as sometime this coming season. I compare Jones to Graves, in that he may be a little later bloomer.

  • I view this as if you took every player in the rangers organization under 25 and held a draft. What players would other gms pick in order. Obviously the top 5 is set. But if you held and open draft what crockpot gm selects Lindgren at 5th overall before Nils, Miller, or TDA?

  • Glad TDA ages out for next years list…because it is a joke Miller or any other D man is ahead of him…he has produced on NHL level, we have no idea if Miller or Lundqvist can survive in NHL, forget succeeding. Also, Tony played hurt in playin series n still was more effective than Fox. He is the only D man that scares the opposition when the puck is on his stick…anyhow, besides that great list.

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