The New York Rangers selected Nico Gross in the fourth round with the 101st overall pick. The left handed defenseman is 6’1’’ and 185 pounds. He currently plays for the Oshawa Generals of the OHL. This past season, he scored 14 points in 58 games.
Via OHL Prospects:
A tough guy for me to rank because I’m admittedly lower on him than some of my scouting counterparts. I absolutely recognize the fact that the things he does well could potentially translate extremely well to the NHL level. I love the physical edge that he plays with in the defensive end, especially with him being average sized at 6’1. He absolutely loves stepping up on attacking forwards at the blueline and his ability to disrupt zone entries with his skating ability and aggressiveness is impressive. He also flashes great skill as a potential puck rusher who has the ability to go end to end and whose impressive mobility helps him gain the opposition’s blueline. But at the end of the day, offensive production is important and his 14 points were only 3 more than William Ennis, who’s a stay at home draft eligible teammate. Lots of flash, but how many prime time scoring chances are really created? Does that point to an inability to create through good vision? Just the same, he can be turnover prone in the defensive end (he struggled mightily at the U18’s with this), which could be linked similarly to his issues at creating once he gains the zone. Defensively, he’s extremely raw. The physicality and mobility are pluses, but he has a tendency to chase the play and can get himself out of position rather easily. So why do I still have Gross at #25? Because I like the raw skill set. As I said, there are definitely things to like. But I would feel a lot more comfortable taking a chance on him in the mid rounds and not the early ones where some scouting agencies seem to have him.
Gross is the fifth defenseman the Rangers have drafted so far, along with one winger and one goaltender.