While we may be in the midst of the dog days of August, it’s never a bad time to reflect on how the New York Rangers have completely transformed their prospect pipeline within a two-year span. Corey Pronman of The Athletic had the Rangers ranked 29th in the league during the summer of 2017, and they surged up the rankings to 11th last year with Filip Chytil headlining the list.
Fast forward to this year and the Rangers have reached the top of the mountain in terms of young talent, with NHL Network, Elite Prospects (paywall) and the Sporting News all having the Rangers ranked No. 1 after their most recent draftees and signees this summer.
A few weeks back, the Sporting News also ranked the top-50 prospects throughout the league, and the Rangers made five appearances on that list.
#2 - Kaapo Kakko (RW)
2019 Draft: 2nd Overall
#11 - Vitali Kravtsov (RW)
2018 Draft: 9th Overall
#14 - Adam Fox (D)
2016 Draft: 66th Overall (Acquired from Carolina)
#28 - K’Andre Miller (D)
2018 Draft: 22nd Overall
#35 - Igor Shesterkin (G)
2014 Draft: 118th Overall
Ranking prospects is always a major talking point, but the fact that the Rangers are finally in the discussion for the top spot certainly speaks volumes to their recent turnaround. General Manage Jeff Gorton has done an excellent job of turning expiring contracts into draft picks, as well as acquiring young talent with savvy acquisitions.
The best part, though, is the work isn’t nearly complete and the Rangers are already reaping the rewards at the professional level. Many of the prospects listed above will make their debut on Broadway next season, and they will have the chance to soak up immediate ice time. It should certainly be an interesting process to watch unfold.
So, what do you think about the current state of the Rangers system? Are they ranked too high or is occupying the top spot accurate? It’s fascinating to realize we weren’t having this discussion nearly two years ago, so let us know your thoughts in the comments. It’s definitely an exciting time to be a fan of the New York Rangers.