From now until the 2013 NHL Entry Draft Blueshirt Banter is going to be previewing some of the candidates the New York Rangers might select. Since the Rangers do not have a first or second round pick, we will be looking at players rated to be drafted in or around the third round in order to familiarize ourselves with players the Rangers might select with their three third round picks.
At the end of the day we really don't know what's going to happen on draft night. Glen Sather might pull a rabbit out of his hat and trade back into the first round (unlikely), he might find someone he likes and make a move to get into the second round (possible) or he might just stick with his third rounders and find some talent in the later rounds (something Sather and his scouting staff have had success with).
The biggest consistency in the prospects we've been reviewing thus far? Guys who have a ton of upside but holes in their game (some bigger than others) that have them ranked in the Rangers "wheelhouse" when it comes to draft day.
Another prospect that fits that mold is Viktor Crus Rydberg, a center who is currently playing in the second tier and junior league in the SEL.
He had good numbers in the junior league (SuperElit) scoring 12 goals and adding 23 assists for 35 points in 35 games. He played a single game in the SEL (he did not record a point) and had a very successful year internationally.
From Hockey Prospectus, who has him ranked 75th:
Crus Rydberg is a player who teams can dream on, as he is a very talented forward who displays significant upside on his best nights. He was a top-six center for Sweden in U18 international play. He has good hands as well as high-end offensive creativity and vision. His ability with the puck is impressive, as he can make quality passes and good plays in tight. Overall, he shows an advanced understanding of the game, evident in his quick decisions. He has impressive puck possession skills to go along with his good speed. While he is not a blazer, he does have an above-average top gear. His issues will come from refining particular aspects of his game. Crus Rydberg is a little small, at 5'11", and he is not exactly the meanest player on the ice. He could stand to be a little more consistent, although he has a good work ethic and he covers his assignments defensively.
And here's another review of him from our very own Alex Nunn:
Viktor Crus Rydberg is a talented forward with significant offensive upside. Though comparatively small at 5'11", Crus Rydberg's quick decision-making and composure on the puck make him an attractive option for teams. He shows good speed, puts in a shift defensively and often opens up space with his quick hands. Consistency may be the one real knock against him, but that he has the tools is undeniable.
Crus Rydberg spent much of 2012-13 with Linköping's J20 side, posting a PPG pace with 35 points in 35 games. He iced just once for Linköping's SEL roster, but performed well for Sweden at Under-18 level during the year.
This is another player who is seeing his stock fall due to little flaws that can be fixed. These are the types of players I think the Rangers need to take chances with if they keep their three third round picks. Crus Rydberg has significant offensive upside (notice a trend here) and has all the tools to be a player at the next level. I always like to look at international numbers, too, and as you can see from Alex's assessment he did well at the U18 level.
Thoughts on this guy?