Well, the 2012 NHL Draft has come and gone and the Rangers made their picks even with all the trade rumors swirling about the New York Rangers actually managed to hold onto their 28th overall pick so now is as good a time as any to share some final thoughts on the four players the Rangers selected.
Let's go pick by pick shall we?
With the 28th overall pick the Rangers selected 18 year old Defenseman Brady Skjei (pronounced "Shey") out of the USNTDP. The 6'3 200 lbs. defenseman is a smooth skating defenseman that may not have one standout aspectbesides his skating; Skjei still has room to grow as a player and will have the time to do so with the Rangers being stacked on the blue line for the next few years.
My take: While I do like the pick, I think the Rangers took the safe route here where there were more risk/reward picks on the board that Gordie clarke and company could have gone with that could have a bigger impact on the farm system than Skjei.
With the 59th overall pick in the draft the Rangers selected Cristoval "Boo" Nieves a slim winger who is a speed demon and has some pretty good puck skills. Nieves is more of a project pick and will develop well under Red Berenson at The University of Michigan where he will play in the fall.
My take: with players like Nicholas Kerdiles, Phi DiGiuesspe and Tanner Pearson off the board; Nieves is a very solid pick for the Rangers in the second round and could develop really well under Michigan's program.
With the 119th overall pick in the draft the Rangers selected Calle Andersson, a Swedish two-way defenseman who, at 6'2 211lbs, already has a pro sized body and knows how to move the puck and can skate very well for a player his size and weight.
My take: The more I read about this pick the more I think the Rangers found a real gem in Andersson, most analysts rave about his puck handling abilities and his skating and if he develops properly could be a major asset for the Rangers down the line.
The Rangers final pick in the draft came at 142 overall and they selected winger Thomas Spelling from Denmark. I'll be honest I don't know much about Spelling besides the fact that he was second on Denmark in scoring during the World Junior Championships
My take: A 6'1 175lb winger with a scoring touch? Not bad, but there were better options on the board.
After the jump some final, final thoughts on the draft.
While I was surprised the Rangers drafted a defenseman with their first pick, I was very happy when I saw it was Skjei, who many projected to go in 15-20 range before the NHL had a run on defensemen for some reason. Would I have liked a forward like Pearson, who went two picks later, or Kerdiles? Yes, but Skjei is still a solid pick.
I was disappointed though, that the Rangers played so safe with the means and opportunity to get more aggressive and draft more high risk/ high reward players or maybe try and trade up to get one of the falling forwards in the first round (a reach I know). Especially in the later rounds where more high talent level players could have been taken.
One of the players I fell in love with went undrafted in Anton Slepyshev, a player with all the skill of a first rounder but NHL teams shied away because of the uncertainty of his KHL status. I was very surprised when he was still available in the 6th and 7th rounds and I wanted the Rangers to try and trade in and draft him.
Well, another draft in the books and the Rangers come out of it with a solid corps of players to bolster the ranks in the coming years. What are your thoughts guys?