FanPost

Initial Thoughts on the Draft

Too much time has passed since the last Ranger game so I started looking at the 1st round of the draft and here is what jumps out at me.  If the Rangers stay at #15, which they probably will, then I really hope Joel Armia is still there.  He's 17 years old and already playing in the Finnish elite league.  Comparisons to Selanne and Kurri are being thrown around.  The initial response to that is "blah, blah, blah."  However, after reading about this guy I would say he is this year's "Skinner" (I liked Skinner around this time last year for one simple reason:  20 goals in 20 playoff games in addition to 50-odd goals in 60-odd other games).  Armia is a RW, same as Skinner coincidently.  The "knock" against Armia appears to be effort-related (uh-oh).  If that's the case then I hope that con gives the Rangers an opportunity to grab him at 15. 

If not Armia (who might go at 13 to Calgary), then McNeill and Scheifele will be names most mentioned as potential Ranger picks since they are centers with high offensive skill levels that might be available at 15.  Two other forwards to watch out for are Grimaldi and Puempel.  Grimaldi is the smallest player amongst the potential first rounders but he can fly.  His stock is rising due to his speed and has been called a potential captain as his leadership skills are evident.  Puempel is another forward that has a very high skill level that has been projected to go around 15-25.   The other potential pick at 15 is Nathan Beaulieu who is an offensive D that can run the PP.  I could see Beaulieu going at 12 as Carolina will probably be losing Pitkinin via free agency. 

Now here's my "wish" if you will.  Ryan Murphy is a 5'10", 160-170lb D who is an offensive machine.  He scored 79 pts in 63 games and then 11 pts in 7 playoff games.  The 79 pts was 2nd to the Preds' super prospect offensive D, Ryan Ellis (replacement for eventual FA Suter?), who had 101 pts.  Murphy could very well have been a top 3 pick if not the 1st pick if he were bigger.  Don Cherry thinks he should anyway, regardless of size.  Let's assume he goes to the Blue Jackets at #8 where he's projected to go in a lot of mock drafts I have seen so far (although the Devs and the Isles are almost assuredly picking D at 4 and 5 unless one of the offensive studs fall to them).  I say take the 15th pick and the extra 2nd rounder for the Jackets' pick at #8 to draft Murphy.  I would even consider other packages (MDZ+?) for Murphy.

What do you guys think?

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