Blueshirt Banter Discussion: Which Direction Should The New York Rangers Go In The 2012 NHL Draft

VANCOUVER, CANADA - OCTOBER 18: Goalie Henrik Lundqvist #30 of the New York Rangers is congratulated by teammate Tim Erixon #53 after shutting out the Vancouver Canucks during NHL action on October 18, 2011 at Rogers Arena in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. (Photo by Rich Lam/Getty Images)

With the 2012 NHL Entry Draft rapidly approaching, the New York Rangers' brass have a lot of decisions to make. Mainly, which direction they're going to go when they step up to the podium with their first-round pick (28th overall).

There are, obviously, only three options: Offense, defense and goaltending. In a draft with as many potential sleepers as this one, it should be very interesting to see what Gordie Clark and company grab when they're on the clock.

It should be noted that there is a significant amount of defenseman who are projected to go in the top half of the draft, which might leave more forwards at the back (where the Rangers pick) or could work in the other direction, and have middle of the road teams scoop up as many forwards as they can.

As it stands now, the Rangers are loaded with defense, both in their youth on the big club (Michael Del Zotto, Marc Staal, Ryan McDonagh all coming in at 25-years or younger) and in the wings (Tim Erixon, Mikhail Pashnin and Dylan McIlrath).

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The Rangers also have a young group of forwards in Chris Kreider, Carl Hagelin, Artem Anisimov and Derek Stepan; along with a plethora of talent in the wings (J.T. Miller, Michael St. Croix, Christian Thomas, Jesper Fast, Steven Fogarty and more).

The only real area the Rangers don't have much depth in is, gulp, goaltending. But with Henrik Lundqvist still young (30-years old), there doesn't seem to be much of a need to bring a young goaltending prospect into the farm. Especially since he won't see much playing time at all (or even have a roster spot) for at least six or seven years.

It should also be noted that the draft situation can change things as well. If Clark goes in targeting a defenseman and a top-10 forward lands in his lap, he's probably going to take him since he has more upside. So while things can change on draft day, for the purpose of this debate let's assume no one falls too far to land into the Rangers lap.

Which direction do you go and why?

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