2012 NHL Entry Draft: Who Will The New York Rangers Target?

LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 26: Christian Thomas, drafted in the second round by the New York Rangers, is interviewed during day two of the 2010 NHL Entry Draft at Staples Center on June 26, 2010 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)

Well, the 2012 NHL Entry Draft is finally here. The New York Rangers will pick 28th tonight -- assuming there's no trades made at or before the draft. While this is the latest pick the Rangers have had in quite a few years, this is the perfect draft for a late-round pick.

There's tons of talent in the top of this draft, but from the 15th pick on things start to get a little blurry. There are tons of players with high upside who also have quite a bit of risk attached to their name as well (for a variety of different reasons).

So what will the Rangers do with the 28th pick in the draft?

Join me after the jump to find out.

We used the 28th pick in the 2012 SB Nation NHL draft on Mark Jankowski. Of course, our draft probably played out differently than the actual draft will tonight, but Jankowski is a player who might be available when the Rangers walk up to the podium. Jankowski is a player who fills a major need for the Rangers, a dominant first-line player who can put the puck in the back of the net and set up his teammates as well.

But there are other options on the board as well who might be available when it's the Rangers' turn to call a name. Guys like Nicholas Kerdiles, Anton Slepyshev and Tanner Pearson are also high-octane players who can bring some offense to the Rangers' talent pool.

There's no doubt that the Rangers will take a defenseman or two in the draft, but it's hard to imagine the Rangers taking one in the first round, especially considering the consensus that most of the high-end, first-round defensive talent will be gone in the first 20 picks.

Or, the Rangers could turn everything upside down and move up in the draft. Then again, the Rangers might also trade their pick if they end up finishing a deal before Friday night.

No matter what happens, you can generally expect the Rangers to do the unexpected. And, since we're now experienced in this, let's make sure to give Gordie Clark (who is far and away the best scout in the business) all the benefit of the doubt, he's certianly earned it.


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