The New York Rangers sat and watched the first round on Friday, either unable or unwilling to trade into the first 30 picks to make a selection. The second round won't be too much different, with the Rangers having one selection, exactly two picks away from the third round at 59th.
Couple of quick thoughts about the first round:
- I thought most players pretty much went where they were expected to go. There were not many surprises which, in itself, is kind of surprising.
- There's going to be a lot of talk about how the New York Islanders flew in, took the Rangers' pick from Tampa Bay and then took Joshua HoSang -- a player I think a lot of us wanted if he fell far enough for Glen Sather to make a move. He did fall to 28th and the Rangers did not make a move for him, which says a lot, actually. If the Rangers were truly smitten with HoSang, I think they would have pulled the trigger -- or at least tried -- when he fell beyond 25.
- The Rangers didn't do anything, however, which fits with the recent trend. Gordie Clark loves character players who have a good head on their shoulders. HoSang is a player with skill but who also presents a risk on the other side of the spectrum. I'm not saying it's always the right decision, but I am saying the Rangers most likely would not have taken HoSang if they had kept their 28th pick.
- According to some reports the Flyers were trying to unload Vincent Lecavalier for the first overall pick. There were other parts to the deal as well, obviously but I can't imagine any team would part with something so valuable for a player who is on the wrong side of his career with a contract like that.
- It was an interesting day yesterday with Ryan Kesler on the move. That trade, I think, was one of the roadblocks holding up the Jason Spezza trade, which I think is holding up the entire market. Things might get interesting once tonight is finished. Two teams -- Philadelphia and Chicago -- are already over the cap. Boston has just a hair over $1.6-million in space with a few holes still to fill. Things will get interesting.
On to the second round. Here are the Rangers picks:
There are a couple of players to watch who have fallen. Most notably Ivan Barbashev who you can't even attribute the fall to the "Russian Factor" due to the fact that he's playing in the QMJHL. He is, however, a high-flying, elite offensive talent who isn't bad in his own zone, either. I can't see a world where he falls to the Rangers at 59 but they might make a move to try and jump up for a player like him.
Alex Nunn did a prospect report for some of the potential picks overseas and did not include Barbashev because he couldn't imagine him making the second round. But aside from that, take a look at these players Alex outlined last week, since all of them are on the board and have potential to be floating when the Rangers make their selection.
As for me, I'll hope Barbashev finds his way in a Rangers jersey. Vladislav Kamenev and Anton Karlsson (both previewed in Alex's story) would be fine too.
Use this as your open thread, guys!
Enjoy the rest of the draft. This is where Sather and his crew do some of their best work so be excited!