With the Rangers’ third pick of the fifth round, and presumably their final pick of the 2014 NHL Entry Draft, they selected Tyler Nanne, a defenseman from the Edina High School and who is committed to Ohio State University.
Nanne, 18, is the third defensemen the Rangers selected this draft. He’s also the fourth American, joining Brandon Halverson, Keegan Iverson, and Ryan Mantha. Nanne played four games with the Sioux Falls Stampede of the USHL, totalling two assists. He also played a game for the US National Development Team. He also happens to be the grandson of former Minnesota North Stars defenseman Lou Nanne.
Chris Dilks of SB Nation College Hockey has by far the best scouting report of Nanne you’re going to find. I recommend reading all of it. Here is what he says about his upside.
“A big part of the reason Nanne will get drafted is because of his potential as a power play quarterback some day. His ability to move laterally along the blue line with the puck and his heavy shot makes him very dangerous with the man advantage. He doesn’t project as a player that could handle really serious minutes at the pro level, but could hold his own as a second or third pairing defenseman.”
Dilks also says that Nanne is a good skater, but that discipline is his biggest issue; he needs to learn how to play defense without taking so many penalties.
Here’s another very good scouting report from Land-Grant Holy Land. I’ll quote a part of it.
“Per Jeff Cox of SBN College Hockey, Nanne has ‘has elite-level agility and a surprisingly heavy shot for his size.’ However, the problem with Nanne is that he is only listed at 5’10, 175. If this screams Brian Rafalski lite to you, I would not blame you at all. Rafalski was a smooth skating, offense first defenseman who rang up 50 points four times over his NHL career.”
Obviously, it would be tremendously naive to pencil Nanne in as the next Brian Rafalski. Still, Nanne fills a major need in the prospect pool, which is a puck-moving defenseman. McIlrath, Skjei, Graves, and the defensemen drafted earlier today are all very nice prospects in their own right, but none of them are true puck movers. None will be depended on as PP QB’s. Calle Andersson, far from a sure thing, is the only other defensemen in the system who somewhat resembles that kind of player. Thus, Nanne is a breath of fresh air. He’s a long ways off, if he ever does make it, but is a high-upside selection late in the fifth round.
Unless something changes, that’s it for the Rangers. We’ll update with more information, quotes, and so on.
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