It’s official. The NY Rangers will have the 15th overall pick in the 2021 draft. Lightning didn’t strike thrice for the Rangers, as was expected. To be honest, the post about getting the 15th overall pick was pre-written the day before. But that doesn’t mean the Rangers had bad luck. The odds played out as expected for most of the draft. With the order now set, let’s go through three bold predictions for the NY Rangers at the 2021 draft.
1. The Rangers won’t pick in the first round
This may not be the boldest of predictions, but the Rangers will not pick in the first round in the 2021 draft. The Rangers are blessed with a stocked cupboard of prospects, too many to actually fit on any NHL roster. The prospects range from NHL ready to just selected, so there is no time gap to fill. With this in mind, the Rangers have the added benefit of being able to dangle their first round pick this year.
Remember they did dangle their first rounder last year for Jack Eichel, until they won the draft lottery and pulled it back. At that point, drafting Alexis Lafreniere took precedence, and you can’t really fault them. With Eichel still on the table at a presumed lesser cost due to the current situation, the #15 overall pick is almost certainly on the table.
Whether it’s for Eichel or some other player whose name we haven’t heard in rumors yet, the Rangers are going to deal this pick.
2. The Rangers will get back into the second round
The Rangers dealt their second round pick to Detroit for the pleasure of taking Marc Staal’s contract. The “future considerations” the Rangers got was the cap space to keep Tony DeAngelo and Ryan Strome. At least one of those worked out.
With the Rangers most likely, per the above, to trade their first pick, it is safe to assume they will try to get back into the second round. Let’s assume for a second the Rangers do what many expect and trade for Eichel, then it likely means one of Strome or Filip Chytil is gone. That’s just how the numbers work.
Given some of the non-Eichel names that could be available, the trade scenarios could get interesting.
3. Neither Nils Lundkvst nor Braden Schneider will be traded
Here’s a bold one, as every single trade proposal has one of Nils Lundkvist or Braden Schneider included. The logic is sound, as the Rangers have Adam Fox and Jacob Trouba, and there are only so many defense spots for top guys. If I were a betting man, one of those two is included for a top player.
However it’s very difficult to envision the Rangers moving one without seeing them in the NHL first. They are clearly the 1-2 defense prospects in the system. Unless it’s something massive, then the Rangers likely want to keep both. This means the #3 defense prospect, Matthew Robertson, could be that guy who is dealt.
This one may be a stretch, as if the Rangers trade their first round pick, it is likely a top legitimate prospect is included in such a deal. This holds especially true if the Rangers deal for Eichel.