Hello folks, it has been forever since I had something of value to post so hope you all are well and excited about the upcoming NHL Entry Draft. Since everyone else has done what they feel is the Rangers picks then why not add my own $0.02?
Let us be honest here as the New York Rangers remain suspect regarding how good their recent draft picks have been. So, if you want an answer as to what are the team’s biggest needs are then my answer is everything.
The Rangers need to select the best possible player regardless of their position to build up their prospect pool. Other than the very first pick, the Rangers need to address holes at every position.
1- Alexis Lafreniere LW Rimouski Oceanic: Seriously if by now that you haven’t heard anything about Lafreniere then where have you been? We are talking a true generational player here who went 35-77-112 in just 52 games which is 2.15 points per game. He becomes the first player that the Rangers have selected in the first round from the QMJHL since 1977.
22- Braden Schneider RHD Brandon Wheat Kings: NYR needs more right-handed defenseman and he is best of the bunch as after this they get smaller in size and less physical. Schneider is 6’2 210 very physical defense first type of player. He can skate, make the first pass out of the defensive zone, and will join the attack when needed. He will be K’Andre Miller’s protector allowing Miller the freedom to put his offensive skills to best use.
Other options: Tyson Foerster (C), Kaiden Guhle (LHD), Connor Zary (C)
71- Drew Commesso G NTDP U18: So, you are thinking that this is a mistake to take a goalie here but there is no such thing as too many good goalies. This is the best American prospect goalie available and the second-best overall available for this draft. 6’2 185 lefty butterfly goalie who Benoit Allaire loves to coach. He is heading to Boston University (David Quinn’s old school) so the Rangers can leave him there for three-four years and develop. And to be blunt the other options here all come with warts, so this is the best player available
Other Options: William Cuylle (LW), Simon Kubicek (RHD)
91-Jack Thompson RHD Sudbury Wolves: This one is a very under-rated prospect, but Thompson is a solid skating defender who plays all 200 feet. His skating is excellent, and his shot is lethal, Thompson is lethal with his shots whether it is a blast from the point or a wrist shot that rarely ever is off-target. An excellent power-play quarterback, Thompson will be a very strong utility player for the Rangers.
Other Options: Brandon Coe (RW), Joel Blomqvist (G)
102- Jack Finley C: Everyone else will be scared away by his skating but trust me it is very fixable. Here is your massive physical presence in the middle. 6’6 210 has soft hands and a very high Hockey IQ. Brian Boyle but better finisher. Finley by all rights should be long gone by this pick but if he is here then grab him.
Other Options: James Hardie (LW), William Dufour (LW)
133- Cross Hanas LW: NYR fans will love this bulldog of a player. If you like Casey Czikas then you will love this guy. GRINDER who goes after the puck and comes away with it. The sneaky offensive skill set can play the off-wing too. An excellent skater and passer who wears his heart on his sleeve.
Other Options: Logan Morrison (C), Artem Shlaine (C)
164- Cage Goncalves C: Goncalves at this spot is a steal but not as a center but as a wing. He plays a 200 ft game with great hands and a very high on ice IQ, Goncalves falls here because he is toothpick thin. Put on muscle and you will have a monster. Top scorer on a defensive-minded Everett team.
Other Options: Alex Jefferies (LW), Michael Krutil (RHD)
195- Noah Ellis RHD: Think old school Jay Wells type, Solid defensive defender who has excellent reads to disrupt an offensive attack either with the body or intercepting passes. He is heading to UMass where he will most likely be paired with 2019 third-round pick Zac Jones.
Other options: Lucas Ramberg (LHD), Patrick Guay (LW)
196- Ben Steeves RW: He falls here because he is a “roll the dice” pick. He has tremendous offensive upside, but he is a tiny 5’8 146 player. If he was 6′ 200 then he would be a 3rd-4th round pick. Still growing but badly needs the weight room. That he is heading to Minnesota Duluth one of college hockey’s top programs is what sold me on him. Comes from a family of players as brothers Matthew and Alex play for Notre Dame.
Other options: Adam Wilsby (LHD), Declan McDonnell (RW)
205 Jake Ratzlaff RHD: The only reason why the Rangers will find him here is that Ratzlaff hasn’t made up his mind what sport he is going to play; hockey or football. When the NHL Draft was delayed, Ratzlaff decided he was going to play football. When his High School football season was delayed, he decided to head back to the USHL to play hockey. Ratzlaff is excellent at both sports but hockey gets the first crack at him since they can draft him first. Think if the Rangers pick him then he will attend Minnesota to play hockey or head to the OHL.
Other Options: Victor Mancini (RHD), Kabor Dunn (RHD)