With the Rangers not holding a first round pick for the second straight season, I’ve seen some fans hoping they’d be able to acquire one before tonight’s draft in Philadelphia.
Whelp, according to Gordie Clark, don’t hold your breath. He told Andrew Gross at the Bergen Record that there’s little chance of the Rangers trading up given their late selections in each round other than the fifth.
Clark, who doesn’t feel this draft is very deep, adds that the Rangers strategy this weekend will be to draft based on best available talent not necessarily need…
“They’ll still be some guys that have a chance to play on the top two lines, or maybe reach the top four defensemen on your team,” Clark said. “There could still be a couple of guys sprinkled in the second and third round that have a chance, if everything goes right in terms of maturity and improving their physique.
“You’ll get good NHL players,” Clark added. “They just won’t be impact players.”
…i’m not going to pretend I’m some kind of draft guru, because I’m not, so I’ll spare you my attempts to throw out names of guys I’ve never seen play to look like I know what I’m talking about. All I’ll say is that I’d love to see the Rangers draft some defensive depth, because right now there’s not much in the pipeline other than Allen, McIlrath, Skjei, Andresson and Graves. And even those guys don’t have top pairing written all over them. At least not yet.
…the one chance the Rangers do have of getting a first round impact player in the second round is if the puzzling Joshua Ho-Sang (ok, one name) drops in their lap. The forward is the typical high risk, high reward draft pick who is plummeting on teams’ draft boards because of character questions. He’s a small player (5′ 11″) with top five pick talent, but his attitude has rubbed NHL scouts the wrong way. He adores the way Patrick Kane and PK Subban present themselves as bigger than life personalities and would likely emulate them on and off the ice. If he can produce the way those two All Stars can than the other stuff can be over-looked, but if not, he’ll find himself out of the league quicker than Nikita Filatov. If he’s still available late in the second round, his talent is too good to pass up despite the possible baggage. Talent scores goals, not character.
The 18 year old had 32 goals, 53 assists and was a +26 in 67 games last season.
For more on where the Rangers are drafting this weekend, click here.