The New York Rangers have had its fair share of luck since being eliminated in short order from the Stanley Cup Qualifiers. Landing the first overall pick that will likely lead to Alexis Lafreniere is the golden ticket, but the icing on the cake is where their second first-round selection ends up. Thanks to some help from the Boston Bruins, the Carolina Hurricanes were eliminated from the playoffs yesterday afternoon, which gives some added clarity on where that pick will eventually end up.
With Carolina officially out of the mix, the Rangers’ selection from the Brady Skjei trade is guaranteed to end up no lower than 24th, but can leap as high as 20th overall in the right scenario. As it stands right now, the Rangers are positioned in the No. 24 slot with the chance to move up dependent on additional help. That help all comes down to the teams seeded lower than the Hurricanes advancing to the Conference Finals.
In the simplest of terms, the more lower seeded teams that advance to the Conference Finals, the higher the pick will rise before it finally settles at its destination. As of writing this article, the lower seeded teams that still remain in the playoffs are the Dallas Stars, Calgary Flames, Vancouver Canucks, Montreal Canadiens, and the New York Islanders.
With all of that in mind, there are five potential outcomes which will impact the pick, and if nothing else, should spark some additional rooting interest as the playoffs progress. Unfortunately for us though, some of that rooting interest involves the Islanders advancing as far as the third round. However, if rooting for the Islanders ends up helping the long-term success of the Rangers, then so be it.
The five potential scenarios are broken down as follows:
20th Overall: Four of the New York Islanders, Montreal Canadiens, Dallas Stars, Calgary Flames or Vancouver Canucks advancing to the Conference Finals.
- 21st Overall: Three of the New York Islanders, Montreal Canadiens, Dallas Stars, Calgary Flames or Vancouver Canucks advancing to the Conference Finals.
- 22nd Overall: Two of the New York Islanders, Montreal Canadiens, Dallas Stars, Calgary Flames or Vancouver Canucks advancing to the Conference Finals.
- 23rd Overall: One of the New York Islanders, Montreal Canadiens, Dallas Stars, Calgary Flames or Vancouver Canucks advancing to the Conference Finals.
- 24th Overall: None of the lower seeded teams advance to the Conference Finals, thus resulting in the pick remaining where it started.
Even in the worst case scenario, the Rangers still end up with a pretty reasonable consolation prize in a draft that is loaded with talent. Whether the Rangers actually make a selection with their other first-round pick remains to be seen, but at the very least, it gives them options they didn’t have a couple of weeks ago.
8/21: Montreal was officially eliminated from the playoffs, which means the highest possible outcome for the Carolina pick is now 21st overall.