LAKE PLACID, NY - AUGUST 10: Pathrik Vesterholm #29 of Team Sweden exchanges pushes with J.T. Miller #28 of Team USA at the Lake Placid Olympic Center on August 10, 2011 in Lake Placid, New York. Team Sweden defeated Team USA 4-1.(Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
As announced on August 1st, prospect guru Russ Cohen will be giving us some insight on some of the New York Rangers top prospects and draft picks this month. For those of you who don't know Cohen is an author http://www.amazon.com/Russ-
One of the bigger picks made in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft was Steven Fogarty, taken with the Rangers third round pick. The reason why this particular selection gained so much media attention was because the pick was acquired after the Rangers traded Evgeny Grachev to the St. Louis Blues.
Join us after the jump where Russ Cohen answers some questions on the young center. (P.S. There were no pictures of him so enjoy this one of J.T. Miller.)
Fogarty Was A Risk Worth Taking by Russ Cohen
Steven Fogarty will be linked with Evgeny Grachev for quite a while since it will be a while until he plays in the NHL and the Rangers got a third round pick for their former Russian center and turned that into the 6-3, 200 center out of the Minnesota High School system. When you select a high school player you are rolling the dice to some extent. Blake Wheeler is among the most successful to be drafted that way and it took him four years to make an impact in the league. I would expect the Ranger prospect to follow a similar path.
This past draft was in Minnesota so Fogarty was being watched by the local media for sure. The fact that he's used to a certain amount of media coverage should help him in New York someday. He's 18 and instead of going back to the USHL he chose the BCHL. Penticton is known for having a world class facility and this kid skates, shoots and handles the puck very well for a big man. He did play six games in the USHL last season and he could be headed to Notre Dame next season. But that's not always etched in stone.
Most of the time the track record for big men in the NHL has been spotty and in many cases those players take a bit longer to develop but this kid could really be worth the wait. He did dominate in high school but his size had something to do with that for sure. I will say this and I haven't seen a lot of him, I am impressed with his eye-hand coordination and his skating is very solid for a player of his size. He will need to work on his defense but that's the case for most young players. He is a tough guy as well.
I would think his high side would be a second line center but most likely he will be a third line pivot, considering the Blueshirts have a lot of future depth at this position. This year will be a bit of a culture shock for the kid so don't be surprised if he gets off to a slow start. He has to adapt to being on the road a lot more, playing more games, living in Canada, and that's enough!
High school stats aren't worth re-posting but from this point on fans should have this player on their radar, because he is exciting to watch. Just know that the organization is going to be very patient with his development. Don't expect too much too soon. Overall I thought this was a good pick because they didn't get a mucker or grinder here they got a potential skilled player with size and if you look around the NHL there's still a shortage of them.
Cohen is an author http://www.amazon.com/Russ-