Rangers 2011 Draft, early preview

The New York Rangers will select 15th overall in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft this summer. The Rangers have already accumulated a nice stockpile of talented youngsters, and with a solid core of young defensemen, the Rangers will likely look at forwards.

The key in this draft is finding that rare skater up front, with some offensive ability, but also a good mental approach to the game, and an absolute passion for hockey. Here are some of the key youngsters I feel that the Rangers have looked at long, and will make an impact in the NHL.

Joel Armia, Winger  Porin Assat, Fin 

Armia is already over 6' and at 17, has a natural touch with the puck. He can shoot from anywhere on the ice, and draws alot of attention from the opposing defense. The key for Armia reaching the NHL and contributing is his play away from the puck and helping his line-mates. His passing and defense need some work, but he has the nose you want at the net. His 6'3 frame projects out to a solid up front sniper, and potential two- way winger. Armia is a solid mid first round pick, and could rise because his size is a commodity in the NHL.

Future: Top 6 Forward with goal scoring acumen


David Musil, Defense WHL

David Musil is the son of Frantisek Musil, and the nephew of Bobby Holik. Yes, that's right. His family blood line has gifted the young Musil with incredible strength and size for his age. Musil looked like a men amongst boys playing in the "rugged" Western Hockey League and this should help him develop quickly. As I stated earlier, the Rangers will likely look at forward with the first round selection, but Musil's size, grit and determination make him a huge value anywhere in the mid to late first round.

Future :Top 4 defenseman, could be a stay at home or rugged playmaking defenseman.

Niklas Jensen, Forward OHL

Jensen, arguably the best Danish prospect....ever?

Jensen has size and skating ability ahead of his years. He reminds me of a bigger, stronger Frans Nielsen, and Nielsen has emerged as a solid two way center. Jensen's stock will likely rise as the draft inches closer because he can lineup at center and right wing, take faceoffs and shoot the puck quite well. He is also very good in his own end. He had some early knocks on his passion, but Jensen quieted the doubters with a solid season in the O.

Future: Top 6 forward, special teams nightmare, giant Frans Nielsen.

Ryan Strome, Center OHL

Strome is likely a reach for the Rangers at 15, but with so many prospects already in the cupboard, it's not impossible for the Rangers to move up to take him. Strome is without question one of the most creative centers in the draft. He has incredible acumen with the puck, and his play without it has improved greatly over the last season. Strome could be a fast riser as the draft draws near. He has good (right-handed) shot, which give Strome some flexibility as a potential winger in power play situations. His biggest flaw, strength. He has had some difficulties with face offs and getting out of checks.

Future: Top 6 forward, potential top playmaker with goal scoring ability

After jump, more!

Tyler Biggs, Winger USHL 

Biggs is a big bodied winger with solid puck skills. He's a machine. Endless energy, tough, fearless. Biggs has everything you want in a hockey player and although his offensive skillset is still a work in progress, Biggs can score goals. The kind of goals that are just plain dirty. He is captain material. I remember watching him and thinking, wow, this kid shoots the puck! Biggs shoots a lot, and with some development all those shots will turn into goals.

Future: Potential top 6 winger, leader, pain in the $#@. Sandpaper. Jam.

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