Rangers Draft: It's a Guessing Game

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Well, Rangers Fans, the 2009 NHL Draft is over and the New York Rangers had a total of 7 picks. Starting with the 1st selection at number 19 overall, the Rangers went with Center, Chris Kreider. Kreider is a 6'2" 200 pounder from Andover High School. He's a big kid with good speed - in fact, he was rated as the best skater by all of the scouting reports. I like the pick, as the Rangers went with the size and skill factor over a player who might have been "ready" sooner. With Kreider, the Blueshirts might have to wait a few years. But, again, the size is the key to me.

With the 2nd round pick, 47th overall, the Rangers went with Center, Ethan Werek from the Kingston Frontenacs. From what I hear, he has good skills and can contribute offensively. Then, with the 3rd round pick, 80th overall, the Rangers selected Ryan Bourque. That's right, Ray Bourque's son. Don't know much about him, but if he's anywhere near his dad in ability and skill, he could be a good choice. He's a little undersized, but only time will tell if that's a problem or not! The Rangers then selected Roman Horak (another center) from the Czech Republic, followed by Scott Stajcer (a goaltender) from the Owen Sound of the OHL, Jr. league. All accounts point to him being a solid netminder who does everything by the book as a goaltender.

With the 6th round pick, the Rangers might have gotten themselves a steal with defenseman, Daniel Maggio of the Sudbury Wolves, OHL Jrs. Hey, the kid has good size at 6'3" and 200 Lbs. A knee injury held him back, but his upside is really good. Love the size once again! Finally, the Rangers last pick was Russian defenseman Mikhail Pashnin, a stalky 5'11", 190 pounder who was drafted No. 1 by the Russian Pro league in the KHL. If things don't work out in Russia, he will come to the NHL. A gamble? Sure. But a worthy one at that.

In other action during the draft, the Rangers also picked up Chad Johnson from the Pittsburgh Penguins (a former 2006, 4th round draft pick) in exchange for the Rangers 151st overall selection. Johnson has finished his college career and should be good "bench strength" at goaltender for the Rangers organization. They also made a trade with the Los Angeles Kings to acquire former 1st round selection, Brian Boyle. Boyle has tremendous size and there's still some hope for him yet.

How would I rate this draft? I'd give it a B to B+. I know many fans might disagree with me, but honestly if you are not picking at the top of the draft, you're not going to find instant NHLers at the 19th pick. Sorry, doesn't happen that way. What the Blueshirts got is good potential for the years ahead and patience is the key. Lastly, about the draft, does anyone really know how things turn out with all of these prospects? It's a guessing game at best! Over and out!


Looks like the majority of you would like to keep Antropov next season, but from the preliminary reports - it's not looking good. Some quotes by GM Glen Sather over the weekend suggest that his agent is making outrageous offers. Anyways, check out the new poll question involving newly acquired Ranger, Brian Boyle.


sbjsc said...

Chris, after reading so many pessimistic blogs especially regarding Chris Kreider I am so glad to agree with you whole heartedly. I find it uncanny how many similarities to when Brian Leetch was drafted. He seems to be cut from the same cloth. Kreider's strength and speed sounds like a rare commodity. I for one am extremely pleased. I have to echo your grade of B B+. As always we can only be optomistic with the guessing game. I myself am very intrigued with the 200 pick Mikhail Pashnin. The future looks bright. Up, up and away!

Kotsy's Korner said...

sbjsc, I like the fact that there are many Ranger fans who are passionate about the team. I respect all the opinions on the Ranger Draft.

Kreider to me has a great upside. Size and speed is something the Rangers have lacked lately and if we have to wait a few years so be it.

Unfortunately, I think most believe that you should "Draft" a player who can play right away and in a perfect world that's okay with me.

However, When you are "Drafting" from the 19th slot it is unreasonable to believe you can find a player you can pencil in to start right away. Can it happen? Sure it can but not very often.

Only time will tell with Pashnin and the rest of the picks.

Wrath of Sanity said...

Hmmm. Seems to me like we'll be seeing a new 4th line unit next year. I highly doubt we re-sign both Betts and Sjo. I think we'll find out just how big of a part of our PK success they really were then, won't we...

As for the draft... I can't say much. The first pick seemed fine to me. Could be a few steals here and there... heres to hoping for the best!

Kotsy's Korner said...

Wrath, It certainly does not look good for Betts, Sjostrom and "Fan" favorite Colton Orr (That one puzzles me?).

We will find out how important they were on the PK for they were number 1 in the league with Betts and Sjostrom. Big shoes to fill.

Like I said I believe the Draft went okay for the Rangers. Drafting 19th doesn't guarantee you an automatic starter on your club.

Ryan McFadden - The Manic Ranger said...

I really don't see the point of acquiring Brian Boyle. He seems like another project on a team that already has 4 centers, 5 if (hopefully) Betts comes back. He seems like a project on a team that needs a quick impact.

As for Kreider, I like and dislike the pick. He looks to have a big upside, but he's playing against high school kids. He might have the tools, but a 1st round pick is alot to use on a guy who hasnt faced NCAA or Major Junior competition.

Kotsy's Korner said...

Ryan, I really don't know much about Boyle. I had to ask my son about himto get any info at all. It is what it is..... A gamble that might payoff? who knows?

As for Krieder I am one that believes very few players jump to the NHL immediately unless you are in the top 5 or so in the Draft.
I could be wrong.... but that door swings both ways.

The Rangers lacks size up front and the last thing I want to see is more undersized forwards. Kreider fits that category and if we have to wait on him so be it.

Ryan McFadden - The Manic Ranger said...

Yeah i agree, he's in HS and he's 6'2 200 pounds. He will more than likely grow a little more before he goes to BC. I like the player, but I wish the Rangers could have gotten someone mroe NHL ready who has faced stiffer competition

Kotsy's Korner said...

Ryan, I think both are views are debatable. I still stand by the the fact that you rarely get someone who is able to make that leap to the NHL from the 19th spot.

I see your point as well that instead of 2-3 years of seasoning 1-2 would have been more sufficient.

I will say this though no one can predict how it will all turn out for the Rangers.

Jason said...

It seems that after a lot of build-up, the draft went pretty quietly as a whole. Very few deals, and even fewer surprises.

I am sure the Flyers' acquisition of Pronger made a few Rangers players cringe. Having to face him at least 6 times next season will not be fun. I guess Burke is right -- Pronger is a prototypical Flyer. I am sure he would have fit right in with the classic Broad Street bullies of the 1970's.

I agree with you about the chances of finding a ready-now player at the 19th spot. Possible, but not likely. There is always hope that they can pluck a diamond from later picks. I try to follow (as much as time allows) how the prospects perform, especially once the Rangers bring them in for various off-season camps. Speaking of that, it looks like the Rangers' prospects were put through what can potentially be considered a bag skate yesterday. According to Torts, the team was soft and not sufficiently conditioned last season. I, for one, am glad for a tougher approach. This may turn off some potential free agents this summer who would like to get paid but may not be willing to pay the price once signed. In my view, good riddance. I think we have seen enough free-loaders drag the Rangers down with lousy work ethic and lack of caring. I would rather see a young guy bust his rear end and earn a spot in the lineup.

Kotsy's Korner said...

Jason, I have to agree overall that the Draft was really boring without the fireworks of Big Trades.

The Pronger trade has me a bit puzzled. The Flyers gave up a ton to acquire him. Obviously they feel that Pronger is the piece to the puzzle that puts them over the top. I'm not sure he can play goal? Ha! Ha! Ha!

Hockey in the NHL has changed in one aspect from my day. "Conditioning" is a all year round thing now. Some of these youngster's got a rude welcoming to the NHL yesterday.

Let's hope Tort's can shake things up to find some scoring this year! LOL.

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