My friend recently asked me an interesting question. The question was why have the Rangers never been able to draft that super star caliber player. I responded "well because they have never been in a position to draft a Crosby or Ovechkin type player because they are hardly drafting within the top 5 or even top 10, so they don't get a shot at those players." This made me think of something. How many Hall Of Famers were the Rangers able to draft? Meaning if they had the 15th pick in the draft and the future hall of famer was 19th, the Rangers had a chance to select him. This made me want to do a little bit of research.
You can't blame the Rangers for not taking the person though if they were taken in a later round though. Also, note i'm only putting in players the Rangers had a chance to draft when they had a pick to take them but they took someone else.
1970- Billy Smith 59th overall.
1971- Larry Robinson 20th overall.
1974- Bryan Trottier 22nd, and Mark Howe 25th overall. NYR pick # before was 14th. Note: Not a complete failure as we selected Dave Maloney with that pick.
1976- Bernie Federko 7th overall. NYR pick # before was 6th overall.
1977- (This one hurts) Mike Bossy 15th overall, and Rod Langway 36th overall. NYR pick #'s before were 8th,13th, and 26th. Wow this one sucks for us. But we got Ron Duguay with the 13th pick!
1978- Technically doesn't count as Viacheslav Fetisov was taken 206th overall, but he didn't play in the NHL until years after this draft.
1979- Michel Goulet 20th overall, we had the 13th pick. Mark Messier 48th overall and Glenn Anderson 69th overall, we had the 34th pick.
1980- Jari Kurri 69th overall. We had the 14th and 35th picks.
1981- Al Mcinnis 15th overall. We take James Patrick 9th overall.
1982- Doug Gilmour 134th overall. We had the 120th, 78th, 57th, 36th, and 15th picks. Granted we didn't do terrible this year as we took Tony Granato, and Tomas Sandstrom.
1983- Tretiak was taken but never played in the NHL.
1984- Patrick Roy 51st overall, Brett Hull 117th overall (wow), and Luc Robitaille 171st overall.
1985- Joe Nieuwendyk 27th overall.
1986- HOLY CRAP WE ACTUALLY TOOK A HALL OF FAMER: Brian Leetch ladies and gentleman.
1987- Definite Hall of Famer Joe Sakic 15th overall.
1987- Hall of Famer? Theo Fluery 166th overall.
1988- Hall of Famer Mark Recchi. 67th overall.
1990- Marty "Fatso" Brodeur 20th overall.
1991- The man who definetly should not be in the hall of fame but might end up there anyway Chris Osgood 54th overall.
1994- Maybe Daniel Alfredsson 144th overall.
1995- Some people say he's a hall of famer (I don't think so) Marc Savard. But we selected him so good pick by NYR.
1996- Zdeno Chara 56th overall. I think he'll get in eventually once he retires.
1999- Also compiling Hall of Fame numbers is Henrik Zetterberg who still has some great years left. Also, we have Ryan Miller 138th overall, who probably won't end up a Hall Of Famer but still has an outside chance to become one.
2000- Ok here it is our man Henrik Lundqvist 205th overall well on his way of becoming a hall of famer if he keeps at his pace.
Ok, so out of the hall of famers that are already in the hall of fame we missed out on a total of 17 Hall of Famers since 1970. We have taken one maybe two since 1970 in Leetch and Lundqvist. The definite future Hall of Famers we missed out on were Sakic, Recchi, Lidstrom, and Brodeur. Those are the definite ones. that brings our total to 21 players. That's a lot of people.