Summer for me started the first weekend in May when I finished my junior year of college, but it really felt like summer got kicked off this weekend. Graduation parties, USA Soccer excitement, and attempting to finish a keg all day Sunday so we could return it Monday. I know, my life sounds really tough. Anyway, I stuck around the house long enough to see the Rangers draft a kid I didn't even know was a prospect until they took him. I vented my thoughts on anyone who would listen all weekend. Let's get the bullets going.
- Putting numbers to the names selected by the Rangers over the weekend.
So I made this fancy-dancy chart of all the Ranger draft picks and their NHL equivalencies. Follow after the jump and look in awe:
Obviously, we must remember the disclaimer that a lot can happen after draft day. The next two seasons of development for anyone not named Taylor Hall or Tyler Seguin will be more important than the last two. My second "obvious" point is that our first-round draft pick will not be expected to contribute offensively whatsoever. I don't necessarily disagree with the people who are saying that the Rangers picked McIlrath out of a need for a crease-clearing d-man. I disagree with the Rangers logic that our need for such a d-man outweighs the need for more scoring. There wasn't a player at number 10 who would be NHL ready for next season, but there was better offensively minded players available. Oh, and Cam Fowler/Brandon Gormley; they were there too. If McIlrath doesn't become a regular staple on the Rangers blueline within five years this pick will be compared to Jessiman because of who was available.
Going back to the chart though; I am going to keep an eye on Jesper Fasth next season as he will most likely enter the Swedish Elite League with his club HV71. They were the Swedish Champions last season, so if young Jesper can pop into the lineup I'll be curious to see how he performs. I also like how the Rangers stayed away from Europeans for once. I have nothing against them, I just thought it was a good move. Hopefully all the young men can score more points next season so their equivalencies can rise.
Oh, and if anyone is confused about the "Ceiling" part, that's just something I calculate on my own. I take the players best season in junior hockey or wherever he played and just multiply that season. It's accurate for the most part as to a players career year in the NHL.
And I agree. When I'm talking about the Rangers with casual fans, I usually explain how the Rangers have good goaltending, above average defenseman, and a young offense with one sniper. Ever since Chris Drury morphed into a third-line center, and with Gomez gone, the need for a first line center has been dire. Connolly, as it goes, might be shipped out of Buffalo because GM Darcy Regier didn't like the way him and Derek Roy played in the playoffs. Send him our way, kind sir, as Connolly will most likely have a solid year next season. He is due to be 30, where a lot of forwards get some magic bump in their stats for some reason. The only concern would be the usual injury bug that seems to plague him. The Rangers have taken that risk with Gaborik, so why not with his potential line-mate? Plus, a 4.5 million dollar cap hit for a first line center who is likely good for anywhere from 50 to 90 points in my book is actually kind of a deal.
- Steve Bernier to Florida and Thursday, July 1.
A little tip to anyone that is into fantasy hockey; Steve Bernier. I have had him a couple of seasons now in my keeper league, and this move really excites me. First of all, he goes to Florida where he will most likely play a second line role and could finally release some of that over a point-per-game potential he had in the QMJHL. The southeast division is the weakest in hockey, and players actually do receive a bump in their scoring statistics for playing down South. Bernier will also be going into his statistical career year at the age of 26. Pick him up ASAP if you can get him for cheap!
Finally, Thursday won't feel the same as usual unless Sather ignores Tortorella's (and everyone else's) words and breaks the bank for a UFA. So as much as it won't be as exciting as the past couple of summers, just know it's probably the right move to play it cool on the free agent market this season.
So let's hear it in the comments.