Following last night’s Game 7 that saw the San Jose Sharks punch their ticket to the Western Conference Finals, the final four teams in the NHL are set. With the Sharks joining the St. Louis Blues, Boston Bruins, and Carolina Hurricanes, we now know where the Rangers are slated to make their selections during the 2019 NHL Entry Draft.
Due to various trades they’ve made dating back to last season’s trade deadline, the Rangers only own four of their own draft selections, but they also hold five selections from other teams. The first 27 picks of each round of June’s draft are now set, and the Rangers own the following the picks:
1st Round: 2nd and 20th overall
As a result of winning the draft lottery, the Rangers jumped up the board from 6th to 2nd overall, and are all but assured to add one of Jack Hughes or Kaapo Kakko to their prospect pool as a result. The draft lottery only affects draft picks in the first round, so the rest of the Blueshirts’ own selections will be the 6th of every round.
The Rangers also acquired the Winnipeg Jets’ first round selection in exchange for Kevin Hayes at the trade deadline, and luck smiled down on New York to push the Jets’ pick down ever so slightly. The four division winners that bowed out in the first round will all pick later than Winnipeg, and playoff exits from the Islanders, Penguins, and Maple Leafs ensured the Jets pick would fall no farther than #20. The Rangers last held the 20th overall selection in 2008, when they used it to select Michael Del Zotto out of OHL Oshawa.
2nd Round: 49th and 58th overall
Even after trading away their own second round selection in the Adam Fox trade, the Rangers still have two second round selections at their disposal due to recent deadline deals.
The 49th overall selection originally belonged to the Dallas Stars, but the Rangers acquired it in the Mats Zuccarello deal at this past trade deadline. Had the Stars managed to win either Game 6 or 7 of their series against the Blues, this pick would have converted to a first round pick. Instead, the Stars blew a 3-2 series lead and lost in seven games. Some notable 49th overall picks include Shea Weber, Mike Cammalleri, and the Rangers’ own Ryan Lindgren.
The 58th overall selection was another conditional pick that Rangers fans had much higher hopes for at the onset of the playoffs. This pick originally belonged to the Tampa Bay Lightning, and would have converted to the 31st selection had the Lightning won the Stanley Cup either of the last two seasons. Last year’s devastating Eastern Conference Finals loss, as well as this year’s opening round embarrassment, means that the Rangers have received the 58th pick as the final piece of compensation from the Ryan McDonagh deal.
Tampa Bay’s own Nikita Kucherov is the most notable 58th overall selection in recent memory. The 58th spot also produced the likes of Jiri Hudler, Jordan Martinook, and current Chicago Blackhawks’ head coach Jeremy Colliton many moons ago.
3rd Round: 68th overall
The Rangers didn’t trade or acquire any third round picks for this year’s draft, so the only selection they’re scheduled to make in the 3rd round is their own. The 68th spot holds an interesting spot in Rangers’ history. They used the 68th selection in the 1988 Entry Draft on Tony Amonte.
Other notable 68th overall picks include defenseman Craig Rivet, Eric Gryba, and former Ranger Dave Karpa. Niklas Andersson (1988, Lias’ father) and Joel Lundqvist (2000, Henrik’s twin brother) are two more players with distant Rangers’ connections to end up as the 68th overall pick.
4th Round: 112th overall
As a result of the Adam McQuaid trade(s), the Rangers’ originial 4th and 7th round picks belong to the Boston Bruins, and the Blueshirts own the Columbus Blue Jackets selections in those rounds. The moved resulted in the Rangers dropping down 13 spots in both of those rounds in exchange for 36 games of rough and tumble play from McQuaid on the blue line.
The Nashville Predators have gotten the most value out of #112 as of late, using it to select Viktor Arvidsson out of Sweden in 2014. Philipp Grubauer and current Rangers’ farmhand Matt Beleskey are another two recognizable names taken 112th. The Rangers have held the 112th selection five times in franchise history, making it in 1971, 1976, 1985, 1993, and 2000, with their most successful selection going on to play 30 NHL games.
5th Round: 130th overall
The Rangers’ retained their 5th round selection, and finishing 6th from the bottom means that that pick will be the 130th of the draft. The Ottawa Senators used the 130th overall pick on Mike Hoffman ten years ago, and the Winnipeg Jets used the same pick to select Connor Hellebuyck three years later. The Rangers have previously held the 130th pick twice, using it to select Martin Ethier in 1994, and Jason Wilson in 2010, neither of whom made the NHL.
6th Round: 161st overall
The 161st pick of the draft also belongs to New York. The Blueshirts have made this selection three times in franchise history, but haven’t done so in 35 years. The 1978, 1980, and 1984 Entry Drafts saw the Rangers select 161st, but they were unable to select a future NHLer on all three occasions.
If the Rangers are looking to add a goalie to the prospect pipeline, the 161st pick would be a good place to do it. David Aebischer, (Colorado Avalanche, 1997) Mike Smith, (Dallas Stars, 2001) and Darcy Kuemper (Minnesota Wild, 2009) are three of the most successful players to carve a path from being picked 161st to making it to the NHL. A cavalcade of longtime depth players including Chris Neil, Patrick Maroon, and former Ranger Viktor Stalberg have also made the journey from being selected 161st to making the NHL.
7th Round: 205th overall
Once again, the Adam McQuaid trade(s) moved the Rangers down 13 spots on the draft board, dropping from 192nd to 205th due to trading away their own selections and acquiring Columbus’. Only two players have emerged from the depths of pick #205 to have successful careers since 1985, and they’ve both made their mark on the league.
The Sharks used the 205th pick on Joe Pavelski in 2003. Six consecutive seasons of 60+ points, nearly 1,100 NHL games played, and the Sharks’ captaincy make him one of, if not the best players to pull a Sharks’ sweater over his head. In spite of that, Pavelski isn’t even the most accomplished 205th overall pick.
The Rangers have made the 205th selection three times in franchise history. First in 1975, and once again in 1987, and neither pick amounted to much. The third occasion was the 2000 Entry Draft in Calgary. You’ve heard the story plenty of times before. For a team that’s existed for nearly 100 years and has made 520 draft selections, it takes a lot to be the best of anything.
The greatest player to ever skate for the Rangers was taken here, at 205th overall, on June 25th, 2000.
His name was Henrik Lundqvist.