As the Rangers head into Day 2 of the 2024 NHL Draft, we have some time to reflect on Rangers 1st round pick EJ Emery. The Rangers took the defenseman with the 30th overall pick last night, and most people are saying this was a solid pick. Emery was someone Will had profiled as part of his first round pick previews, and while he’s not a steal, he’s certainly a solid pick.

Per Cam Robinson, of Elite Prospects fame, the Rangers “got a great one.” Emery mirrors his game off K’Andre Miller, and despite what some very vocal detractors say about Miller, that’s a solid way to mirror your game. Emery, like Miller, is strong in all three zones, is an excellent skater, and he moves the puck well. He isn’t an offensive dynamo, but he makes a good first pass with good reads and is just overall solid in his defensive reads and coverages.

The Rangers are severely lacking in defense prospects right now, so this also addressed a significant need in the system. Adding Emery to Drew Fortescue and potentially Victor Mancini gives the Rangers some solid players to work with if/when some current roster players price themselves out of New York. It also gives the Rangers the potential to, in the near future, dress a six-man blue line of all “home grown” players. Home grown is used loosely here.

EJ Emery isn’t flashy. He just gets the job done. Sometimes, that’s what you need.

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