The most significant change was, of course, that the Rangers earned the second-overall pick in the draft lottery. The Rangers finished with the sixth-worst record in the NHL and had a significant chance of even dropping down the order. That they ended up with the #2 pick in a two-player draft unbelievably fortunate.
The Dallas Stars upset the Nashville Predators and advanced to the second round, where they will face the St. Louis Blues. Should the Stars win the series, and Mats Zuccarello plays at least one game, then the 2019 Dallas Stars will be sending the Rangers their 2019 first-round pick rather than their 2019 second-round pick.
The Winnipeg Jets were eliminated in the first round by the Blues, meaning that the 2019 first-round pick the Rangers acquired in the Kevin Hayes trade currently sits at 21st overall. However, it will move up one selection for each series win in round two by Carolina, Colorado, and Columbus. As such, the pick can jump as high as 18th overall.
The Tampa Bay Lightning were stunningly swept in the first round by Columbus, meaning that Tampa Bay will not win the Stanley Cup and the 2019 conditional draft pick acquired in the Miller/McDonagh trade remains a second-rounder. That pick is now officially locked in at 58th overall.
Though the Lightning outcome is disappointing for the Rangers, the Winnipeg result was actually far more influential. Using Michael Schuckers Draft Pick Value Chart, we can see that the two outcomes are heavily a net positive for the Rangers. Here’s a comparison.
In an ideal outcome every pick reaches its max value, but what this does show is that Rangers fans should be more excited about Winnipeg’s fate than they should be disappointed about Tampa Bay’s. Combined with the Stars staying alive and, of course, the lottery win, and the last few weeks have gone about as great as anyone could have realistically hoped.
Here is an updated overview of the 2019 draft picks which the Rangers possess.