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New York Rangers 2022 Draft Comparison

A historical analysis of similar picks the Rangers have made in previous years

2021 NHL Draft - Round One Photo by Nick Homler/NHLI via Getty Images

In this article, we’re going to review the New York Rangers’ current draft picks in the 2022 NHL Draft. We’ll look at the specific spot the team will be selecting a player and take a glance at how the team has historically drafted around that area. While the team had a successful playoff run this year, in large part due to the additions they made at the trade deadline, the price of success in this league often comes at the expense of draft picks and boy do the Rangers feel that pain this year.

As it stands the Rangers own four draft picks, and won’t be making their first selection until the second day at the end of the second round. As someone who loves prospect analysis and the NHL draft, when the team goes all in like this and doesn’t win the ultimate prize, it can be a bit of a bummer to not feel part of the hoopla surrounding the big draft day, but the Rangers have done incredibly well for themselves drafting NHL caliber players, often star players, deep into the draft.

2nd Round - 63rd Overall

This is the second to last pick in the second round and happens to be the first time the Blueshirts will be making a selection. A few years ago this pick would have technically been in the third round, but for clarity’s sake, I will compare each pick to selections they’ve made within 10 picks above or below from the last fifteen years.

To be frank, aside from the last few years the team hasn’t had many picks near this spot in the draft, but the team was capable of tabbing Will Cuylle as a potential impact player and drafted him 60th overall in 2020. While still a prospect, Cuylle has taken major strides in his development playing a major role for the Windsor Spitfires this past season. Another young player who has yet to make his presence felt in the NHL but is believed to have NHL regular potential is Zac Jones, who was selected 68th overall in 2019. Jones developed into a key player for the UMASS Amherst Minutemen and helped the team win the NCAA Frozen Four Championship in 2021.

Several picks didn’t quite pan out such as Robin Kovacs at 62nd overall in 2015 or Adam Tambellini who was taken at 63rd overall in 2013. But if we bend the rules a bit and head back to 2004 we see the team drafted Brandon Dubinsky 60th overall. While the draft goes on, the odds of picking a player who will have a major impact in the NHL plummet, but it’s not impossible and Dubinsky with his 438 points throughout his NHL career is proof that value is there.

4th Round - 111th Overall

This specific pick has traded hands a few times now. Initially belonging to the Winnipeg Jets, they sent it to the Vegas Golden Knights in the Paul Statsny trade at the beginning of the season in 2020. The Golden Knights then moved this pick for Brett Howden last summer, and it has since belonged to the Rangers.

Similar to their first selection in the 2022 draft, the last few years saw the Rangers draft some players who have developed well above their value as a fourth-round selection. Look at Dylan Garand for example, drafted 103rd overall in 2020 the young goaltender has already signed a contract with the Rangers and was just named the CHL goaltender of the year.

The team has swung and missed on a fair amount of players in the fourth round throughout the last decade but time and time again they have found value in players such as Ryan Graves taken 110th overall in 2013, Dale Weise at 111th overall in 2008, and perhaps the most successful fourth round pick in Rangers’ history, Igor Shesterkin at 118th overall. The moral of the story continues to be that there are valuable players available throughout the entirety of the draft.

5th Round - 159th Overall

For whatever reason, going back the last decade the fifth round has more or less been the Rangers’ kryptonite. Going back an additional decade, the most successful official fifth-round pick the team has made was Nigel Dawes at 149th overall in 2003 and even then a lot of folks would argue about the successful career Dawes had in the NHL. Spoiler alert, he went on to dominate the KHL and I truly believe he could have been an impact NHL player had he gotten a real chance.

That being said, while not officially fifth-round picks, the Rangers have done alright in the early sixth round. Of course there are a lot of names most people won’t ever remember but the team has found notable players such as Carl Hagelin 168th overall in 2007, and Jesper Fast at 157th overall in 2010. These players are still plying their trade successfully, albeit for other teams.

6th Round - 191st Overall

As we get deeper into the draft, the hidden gems we speak of become increasingly rare, but that doesn’t mean they don’t exist. More often than not players taken this late won’t ever sniff the NHL and would be lucky to become a consistent player in the AHL, but the Rangers have had a few success stories over the years. One potential NHL player was moved at the deadline this past season in the Andrew Copp trade. Morgan Barron was drafted 174th overall in 2017, and we’ll have to keep our eyes on him in Winnipeg to see how he pans out.

If we take a trip down memory lane, some Rangers fans may remember a defenseman named Marek Zidlicky. This Czech blueliner never played a game for the Rangers but he went on to have a very successful career for any player, never mind the spot at which he was drafted. He ended up scoring over 400 points and playing over 800 games. The team could have really used a player like him back in the dark ages, but due to contractual breakdowns between him and Sather he was moved to the Nashville Predators as part of the deal that brought Mike Dunham to the Blueshirts after Richter’s season was over, due to concussions in 2002.

Last but not least, we end with perhaps the greatest draft success story in the league let alone for the New York Rangers. The team found a diamond in the rough when they drafted royalty in the year 2000. Henrik Lundqvist was selected by the team with the 205th pick in the seventh round. We all know the story, the King came to the NHL and ascended to his rightful throne. All of this from a seventh-round pick.

Conclusion

The Rangers have very few picks this year and while this draft isn’t looking to be quite as strong as the upcoming 2023 Draft the team needs to find a way to make every pick count. With the immense amount of resources the Rangers have at their disposal, they need to find the hidden gems or make some moves to get more draft capital. Anything can happen at the draft, and I think we’d all be surprised if there aren’t at least one or two moves made by the team. They’re in a bit of a cap crunch with an incomplete roster and because they’re the New York Rangers, they’re connected to every big name out there. Regardless of the lack of activity from the team, the draft is bound to be a great time and hopefully, the team can leverage this opportunity to cross out some question marks that currently surround the roster.