Three bold predictions for the Rangers at the 2021 draft

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.

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  • Not sure if anyone saw this but Carey Price just became the first $10 million+ salaried player to get to the 2nd round. Since the first $10 million annual NHL salaries came into effect in 2015-16, not a single player in that salary bracket had won a stinkin playoff series. Unbelievable that this Ranger team would see/know this, and STILL be in pursuit of Eichel.

    • To break it down further: There are 13 NHL players with a $10 million+ AAV/salary. 7 of the 13 didn’t make the playoffs this year, including Artemi Panarin.

    • First, why is the salary relevant? Second, as pointed out in those posts, the AAV is less useful than cap percentage or cap adjusted salary, by which there were $10M players in 2016, 2017, and 2018.

      Not that I want Eichel, just don’t see how this is relevant to anything. “No $12M has ever made won the Cup, therefore I don’t want McDavid and he sucks!” 🤔

      • You missed the point of my post completely. Why is the salary relevant? Have you heard of the salary cap, and that it’ll be flat for the next five seasons?

        Have you heard of the Toronto Maple Leafs, and how their salary structure pays 3 underachieving forwards $10 million plus in salary? And how they can’t add quality depth players because of this?

        Nowhere did I say McDavid sucks—the point is that a team can’t win with $10 million salaries up and down their lineup. Edmonton is a garbage team despite McDavid’s greatness. This is a direct result of too much money spent at the top of the lineup.

        The Rangers would be wise to not add Eichel, who doesn’t even approach the quality of players like Panarin, Kopitar, and Kane.

          • Wrong. Its been reported in sportsnet (among other places) that the cap will stay flat for the duration of the recent four year collective bargaining plan between Bettman and the NHLPA. So that’s this season—1 year—plus the duration of the agreement—4 years. 1 plus 4 equals five.

          • Unless their cut of sports book revenue(via sale of proprietary data) explodes, 5 years of flat cap is a lead pipe cinch.

            If the sports book data sales explode, then it’s 4 years.

        • What certainly is true is that San Jose had a fine organization before they acquired Erik Karlsson and gave him a huge contract. The salary cap destroyed them.

          Admittedly there were injury concerns with Karlsson.

          • Actually what destroyed them just as much as the salary cap is that they traded away good draft picks plus anything young and valuable to chase the SC.

      • McDavid succks? I would trade half the Rangers roster for him.That’s how much I disagree with you.

  • Not a fan of all the long term contracts being doled out. The player rarely finishes the contract playing well and once he knows hes getting paid the big bucks why should he play hard.

  • My one off season MUST… no trading Braden Schneider under any circumstance. And when I say any, I mean any. Lundquivst? Got to give to get (GTGTG). Jones? He’s Fox-lite. Robertson? GTGTG.

    3 Rangers untouchables: Kakko, Laffy & Schneids (already projecting his NHL nickname).

    • Still to be seen, but I think I might prefer Robertson to Jones — especially if one of the goals here is to be tougher to play against.

  • I agree that the first round pick will be offered around. We need a strong return that should include a real 2C. Unsure if Eichel is the right guy, but I am sure Drury is talking to many out there.

    As far as the 2nd round goes, while we do not have a pick, we could easily move a 2019 draftee with promise for a mid-second round pick. This is where we need to bulk up at the center position. Grab a 19 y/o with size and hope they grow into a real center in 2023 or so.

    Look for Drury to also work with the Krakken to come up with a 3 team deal that nets us another pick. There are a few teams who go 4 deep at defense and may want to deal to protect known assets.

    • With all the 3rd and 4th round picks we have, moving into the 2nd might be achieved without trading a prospect.

    • I don’t get this “real 2C” stuff, sounds like a major gripe against Ryan Strome. Of 800+ players, Strome finished 30th in total points this season. What’s not “real 2C” about that?

      • Sorry, he was tied for 29 with Jonn Gaudreau and Brock Boesar. Strome had one less point than the following players: Anze Kopitar, Mike Zibanejad, and John Tavares, all bonafide 1Cs. What else do you want?

        • Strome is a nice player. And def a top 6 forward. But he benefits from the style of team play. He’s lacking in the defense department, the faceoff circle and he doesn’t play a north south style. Now if we had a mediocre farm system, and we were already a Stanley cup contender then I doubt they’d be looking up a 2C upgrade. But that’s just the thing, they aren’t looking for a lateral move such as Sean Monaghan, they’re looking for a complete step up because we have the assets to do so. We also have way too many assets so they have to do something or risk losing prospects for nothing. But I don’t think they’re giving up on Ryan strome just to get a Charlie Coyle or even a RNH. It’s going to be someone higher up the food chain who’s capable of more, because they can.

          Not that I’d trade for him or swap him with strome, but Kevin Hayes actually fits what we need way more than Ryan strome. Ironic lol. But stromes a good player. Gotta be proud of the steps he’s taken to come into his own. A team like Minnesota and cbj would benefit hugely from having a guy like him. We need more a guy like Horvat, heavy game. Or I guess just go all the way up the food chain for someone elite like a healthy eichel. I dunno. But they do need a step up if they want to contend in the East.

  • I’m not advocating for Eichel but if Drury/Dolan are hot for him and Buffalo wants a rebuild there is a potential perfect storm brewing.

    Buff. just got 1OA – excellent kickstart to a rebuild, Rangers have a glut of prospects and draft picks. Drury could fashion a deal where he includes enough of these assets for Eichel and the Sabres could eat a good proportion of his salary. Say 2.5 to 3 million dollars. Having Eichel at $7 million per is easier to cap manage.

    It’s a potential win/win where Buffalo can legitimately start a rebuild and Dolan gets happy. Of course, Drury would have to offer a significant package for Buffalo to do this. The “down-vote” button is on the right.

  • Look for a move from Toronto or Florida. Both these teams took early exists that won’t sit well with the fans or with upper management. Buffalo is a perennial loser. They can have 4 first rounders and still won’t make the playoffs. Moving JE is a desperation move and until the fans hate him, he won’t be moved.

    The other non-playoff teams, each who have a high priced player or two, need to be competitive again. These teams may be shopping for additional 1st round picks as well.

  • Please please don’t trade anything of any real consequence for Jack Eichel. First- he’s one boarding penalty away from major injury downtime. Second- he’s been a border-line malcontent in Buffalo. If Drury wants to give them the 15th pick and somebody besides the “untouchables”, and Buffalo can pay half his salary, then I might not jump off a bridge. Personally, I wouldn’t part with Strome, but that’s just me.

    As to the salary conversation, I’m among those who noticed that none of the three finalists for the Ted Lindsey made it to the second round of the playoffs. McDavid, Crosby and Matthews are all great players, but you have to pay some of the other players on the team to be a successful playoff team. Witness Colorado and (ugh!) the Islanders. Oh and lastly, congrats to the Sabres for winning the lottery. What that means is the best player in the draft will be mismanaged by the bozos in Buffalo, so he won’t go to the Flyers or the Devils and compete against the Rangers for the next 10 years.

    Hope everyone has a nice weekend. Regards-


  • Has Drury commented on Tony D at all?

    New Pres, new GM, new coach… his situation may change here. Drury may have been part of the decision to remove him. But also maybe not. It’s obvious now that the opinions of Jeff Gorton may not have been aligned with everyone.

    I personally don’t care about his politics. Him and Fox on the PP looked really good before he was exiled.

    • Drury said ADA’s situation has not changed. He was not shut down because of his politics. He was shut down because he was a loose cannon and the people around him had had enough.

      • I did not mean to infer that politics was the reason he was exiled. But I know his politics is part of the reason why so many turned on him in the fanbase.

        He does bring a little bit of grit along with the high skill level. We could’ve used him is all I’m saying. I’m sure it was worse behind the scenes than anything that was reported. But it seems this team could’ve used a little spice in the locker room to get people to have a pulse out there when it matters. He would’ve been much better out there than Hajek or Bittetto, that’s for sure.

    • Disagree. He actually looked lousy on the power play this year before self-destructing. Fox did just as well as TD’s best season plus he is a strong defender to boot.

  • Jack Eichel will never be a Ranger. Drury is too smart to trade for him. He has the same upper neck/spine damage that ended the career of Derek Dorsett. Its a stretch that Eichel who needs spine surgery can ever play again. If he does, one good hit and its all over.
    As for deals/trades there have to be. Gorton assembled an all finesse team with almost zero grit that is incapable of winning grinding playoff hockey. At the very least they must add a physical player to the top two lines.

  • I disagree with the premise of point #3. I am not saying either player will be traded, but the idea that Rangers will want to see guys in the NHL to see what we have before trading them is not correct IMO.

    There is a very patient approach. Develop the prospects. See what you have. Maybe get a few players along the way, but keep all the major prospects. When the time is right, find the needed complementary pieces. This is an approach favored by most at BSB I think and was the approach being used by Gorton. However, this is precisely the approach that Dolan has rejected. I cannot believe that Drury would have gotten the job if he subscribed to it.

    Likely there are some prospects Drury views as untouchable (maybe the most obvious, maybe not) and others simply won’t attract enough in trade to tempt him – and there won’t be a wholesale turnover, but i’m betting on at least one surprise.

  • my predictions are: Strome, Jones and Georgiev are traded. Possibly get something for ADA, good chance some of Howden, Hajek, Gauthier, Reunanen, Rooney, Blackwell are thrown in or traded.

    Kreider and Panarin will be shopped around.

    We likely stay at 15 or move up ether way we draft a Center with grit. the rest of the players we draft we focus on grit too.

    Pretty sure Lundkvist or Schneider is NOT getting traded. Lundkvist is likely but not yet.

    • Panarin and Kreider both have no-movement clauses in their contracts—Bread for the whole contract, Kreider for the next 3 years. There is no way that Panarin will be shopped around.

    • Stop living the dream, ADA is going to be bought out and will be available to anyone who wants him as a UFA. 😉

      Panarin isn’t going anywhere, the same probably holds true for Kreider … possible exception is if Boston wants him and he wants Boston.

  • I think they are going to swing something ahead of the expansion draft to utilize the 3rd D spot we have open for protection and our cap space.

    Tampa comes to mind. They are already $5 mill over next years cap per cap friendly and they have a few folks they need to get signed.

    Minnesota isn’t in cap hell, but I can’t imagine Seattle not picking Matt Dumba if he’s exposed.

    St. Louis and Colorado could use some expansion draft help with their D men too.

  • There’s a very slight chance Tony D gets selected by Seattle. Expansion rules state that Seattle must select a group of players whose aggregate salaries must reach at least 60% of the cap. If they concentrate on young, cheaper players with upside then a few higher salaried guys have to be mixed in. It’s dubious but they may take a chance on him and if he plays well flip him at theTDL.

    • Frank, I live in Seattle have had a lot of conversations with folks who work for the team. They are big on character and really into supporting BLM and the LBGTQ. Right or wrong, fair unfair–whatever your politics–this tells me ADA has zero chance of being selected and Babcock has zero shot at being the coach.

    • There’s plenty of salary available, they don’t need to select what is perceived (rightly or wrongly) to be a problem child.

  • The depth on the left side is not nearly as good on the right, so trading Robertson would be a disaster in the making.

    Nils Lundkvist killing it at worlds(until he got hurt) makes him a very valuable trade chip as a team like Toronto need that kind of player (especially) at that price point. Could get a good roster player & a pick to help clear up their cap space. None of their current D prospects or roster players can become a one man zone exit & entry.

    Schneider wouldn’t get you nearly as much.

    • I would see about Lundkvist for Sergachev straight up ahead of the expansion draft. Lundkvist doesn’t require expansion protection. Tampa can protect Cernak in that circumstance. Lundkvist can play with and learn from Hedman. Also Tampa gets a little over $3mill in cap space(assuming some bonus on Lundkvist ELC) And Lundkvist is the one piece of the McDonaugh trade that looks like he is going to work out. Our D could be Sergachev with Fox. Then you can bump Lindgren down with Trouba and you have Miller and Schneider for your 3rd pair.

    • If I remember correctly Barkov a UFA soon. I doubt the Rangers give up all that for rental Barkov, and I don’t think Florida would be interested either. If I were them I’d be trying to resign the player.

      • Florida is not resigning Barkov……..High on Ranger priority list…There aren’t many centers in the league like this beast.

      • Florida has zero fan support – they aren’t going to be resigning Barkov. Barkov to the NYR just makes too much sense not happen.

  • I am curious. Eichel is a bad idea, unless Buffalo retains a minimum of 3 million and accepts a trade package that gets Adam’s fired–they need to stay away. Could they get Cirelli and Sergachev from Tampa? Bennett from Florida? A trade like these might work.

    Could the first, Pajuniemi and one or both of Reunenan and Skinner be enough for Bennett? Trow in Blackwell? Florida has one young Finish center on the team and Lundell possibly coming next season. They’ll need to resign Barkov too in 2022.

    I like Andy’s idea and building on it to add Cirelli–just not sure about the cap and future with a trade like that. The question would be how desperate is Tampa for cap space and what would it cost? Lundkvist, the 1st and?

    If they can afford Coleman he’d be great UFA get. A cup winner plays with grit and can play anywhere in the lineup. But he’ll have a lot of offers, I am sure. B. Ritchie, Jankowski and a few others would be interesting bottom 6/13th forward type of pickups. I would sign McIlrath to be the captain in Hartford and protect prospects.

    This is the worst time of year to be a fan of this team, at this time. I just want to see all the move and October to come.

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