Welcome to the 2015 NHL Entry Draft Primer: New York Rangers edition, brought to you by the genius who penned the "How To Save The New York Rangers Cap Space" primer. The below is a list of questions and answers we think are critically important to understanding the current Rangers' draft mentality and draft landscape as a whole. Enjoy!
Why does the draft take place over two days?
Friday is the first round of the draft only. This is the spectacle portion of the draft. Every general manager will come up on the stage, thank Florida for hosting, congratulate the Chicago Blackhawks on winning the Stanley Cup, a few might make jokes and then they make their pick. The camera pans on the pick, they talk about the pick and then they go up on stage for a photo op with the team staff.
Saturday is rounds 2-7 and there is no fanfare. The general managers don't even stand, actually, they just announce their pick into a microphone, some guy at the podium writes it down and then the next team goes. No pictures, no standing and a five minute period where beats rush to see if the player is in the room and talk to him quickly.
Do the Rangers have a first round draft pick?
No, they do not. This first round pick was a conditional pick in the Martin St. Louis trade that kicked in when the Rangers reached the Eastern Conference Final. So they do not have a first round pick this year. They will, however, still be at their desk on Friday because they could trade into the first round.
Are there any rumors about the Rangers being able to trade into the first round?
Yes! Well, sort of. Glen Sather already rejected a trade for Cam Talbot worth two second round picks. There were rumors originally the Oilers might be willing to part with their second first round pick (they hold the first overall pick and the 16th overall pick) but right now it seems like they'd rather not. So who knows where this is going to go.
On the flip side, the Rangers appear to be interested in moving defenseman Kevin Klein -- who is rumored to be a "package piece" to increase the Talbot return. I covered this a little in the draft primer linked above.
OK, so when do the Rangers pick?
They currently hold the 59th overall pick; which is the second to last pick in the second round.
Is that bad? That sounds bad.
It's not ideal, for sure. However, this year's draft is supposed to be loaded, and I'm not just talking about the first 10 names to come off the board. There have been countless team staff members and general managers who have gone on record to say the second round is going to be just as important as the first round since very good players will end up falling because of the glut of talent at the top.
So picking 59th isn't the best situation in the world, no, but it's not a death sentence either.
Who are the Rangers looking at?
We really don't know. This isn't basketball, where prospects come work out for teams before the draft. There is an NHL combine no one really watches or knows about and then we have countless draft rankings to utilize as tools to see which players are going to fall where.
At the end of the day, this year is more of a crapshoot for the Rangers than most. There aren't specified organizational needs -- last year goaltending was a big need and the Rangers made two goaltending selections as an example -- outside of the ever-present need to find the next Brian Leetch.
That's not really a need though. Every team has a need for top-shelf forwards and elite puck-moving defenseman. The Rangers' cupboard is pretty barren -- which isn't the biggest deal in the world -- so they really do need to focus on getting the best player available whenever they pick.
Has Blueshirt Banter done any prospect previews I can look at?
Of course! I'm glad you asked. We've done reviews ranging from first round picks the Rangers would need to trade up to acquire to players who might be in their range at 59. Even a few guys who might be available if the Rangers move into the early second round. Click on each name below to see Adam's great work scouting them all.
What other picks do the Rangers have?
Currently the Rangers hold a 2nd round pick (59th), a 3rd round pick (89th), a 4th round pick (119th), a 6th round pick (179th) and a 7th round pick (209th). All of the picks the Rangers have are their own selections.
Is Blueshirt Banter going to be at the draft?
Yes! Adam Herman is credentialed and will be there! Follow him here.