The draft is now over and despite Director of Player Personnel Gordie Clark’s belief that the Rangers would need to move up in the draft to secure the player the Rangers were targeting, no move up was made. As it turns out the Rangers didn’t need to move up as the player they were targeting, Chris Kreider, fell to them at #19 overall. The Rangers did make one trade bringing in hulking Center Brian Boyle from the Kings for a third round pick in 2010. Other than that, the Rangers stayed the course and added 7 prospects to the organization. It will likely take several years to properly analyze the quality of this draft but for now here are profiles on every Ranger pick accompanied by quotes on a few of the players from Central Scouting and from head coaches.
Drafted: Round 1, #19 overall
Ht: 6’2” Wt: 201
Central Scouting Final Rank: #14 North American Skater
TSN Rank: #19 overall
Kreider was rated as the fastest skater in this draft by scouts. He has committed to play at Boston College next season where he will likely play 1 or 2 seasons before joining the Rangers. He shows al of the necessary skils to be a goal scorer at the NHL level. Kreider is compared to Alexander Mogilny by Bob Mackenzie of TSN.
NHL Central Scouting's Gary Eggleston: "Chris is an excellent skater with explosive speed and acceleration. His short-distance speed is exceptional. He sees the play ahead of time and knows what he's going to do with the puck as soon as he gets it. He is an excellent passer and playmaker. His foot speed, combined with his anticipation and quick stick, gives him the ability to create turnovers and gain puck possession. He is a constant threat to develop breakaways on the penalty-killing unit. He has both an excellent wrist and slap shot, which he disguises well and releases quickly. He can score goals in a number of ways."
Drafted: Round 2, #47 overall
Ht: 6’1” Wt: 190
Team: Kingston (OHL)
Central Scouting Final Rank: #32 North American Skater
TSN Rank: #41 overall
From the scouting reports I’ve seen, Werek seems to play a similar style to Brandon Dubinsky. TSN’s Bob Mackenzie compares Werek’s style to that of Toronto Maple Leaf Forward Alexei Ponikarovsky. It would appear the Rangers were somewhat fortunate to land him with the 47th overall selection as both Central Scouting and TSN had him rated higher.
NHL Central Scouting's Chris Edwards: "Ethan battled hard and he's not afraid to pay a price to make a play. That's the kind of player he is. I don't think he's a guy that would make the opposition mad, but he's still a tough guy to play against and still has a physical element to his game. He's involved and aggressive on the forecheck, he'll finish his checks and knock guys off the puck."
Drafted: Round 3, # 80 overall
Ht: 5’9” Wt: 163
Team: US U-18
Central Scouting Final Rank: #49 North American Skater
TSN Rank: #60 overall
Bourque comes to the Rangers with a great pedigree as the son of Hall-of-Fame Defenseman Ray Bourque. Ryan is a on the small side at only 5’9” but possesses great wheels. As such, his size may not prove to be a detriment in today’s NHL. His NHL comparable according to Mackenzie is Matt Cooke. Considering TSN ranked Bourque as the 60th player overall and Central Scouting had him rated as the 49th North American skater, the Rangers got good value landing Bourque with the 80th overall selection.
U.S. National Team Development Program head coach Ron Rolston: "He plays with a lot of energy and he has got great speed. He's made a lot happen with speed. He plays with a lot of tenacity. He's finished a lot of plays off and gotten to those areas and made nice plays around the net against older players . . . in terms of effectiveness of a player, he's got the ability."
Drafted: Round 5, # 127 overall
Ht: 6’0” Wt: 189
Team: C. Budejovice Jr.
Central Scouting Final Rank: #30 International Skater
TSN Rank: N/A
The Czech Republic has been a fertile source of quality, NHL-caliber talent for many years but this year proved to be a down year. Horak was the first Czech-trained player drafted. He has decent size for an NHL prospect and will likely add weight as he matures physically. Central Scouting had him ranked as the 30th best International skater which is about right for where he was selected.
Drafted: Round 5, #140 overall
Ht: 6’3” Wt: 180
Team: Owen Sound (OHL)
Central Scouting Final Rank: #5 North American Goalie
TSN Rank: N/A
Stajcer has good size for a goaltender at 6’3”. His strengths are his positioning and his confidence. He needs to work on rebound control and consistency. It was a down year for goaltending in this draft as no goalie was selected in the first round. Even so, Stajcek was the 5th highest rated North American goalie and for him to be available at pick # 140 was a good value pick for the Rangers.
NHL Central Scouting's Al Jensen: "He's steadily improved over the course of the year. I really like the way he presents himself in the net. His net coverage is very good. His work ethic was excellent. He's got an air of confidence about him I really like. I see in him what you need at the pro level -- you need to be strong and confident in yourself. He doesn't let goals bother him, doesn't let pressure get to him."
Owen Sound head coach Mark Reed: "Scott's strengths are his positioning and his ability to stop the initial shot. When he's on his game, his ability to control his rebounds is pretty good, which avoids second and third opportunities. For the most part he's pretty calm in the net and his teammates have a lot of confidence in him."
Drafted: Round 6, # 170 overall
Ht: 6’3” Wt: 198
Team: Sudbury (OHL)
Central Scouting Final Rank: #189 North American Skater
TSN Rank: N/A
Maggio has NHL size for a defenseman at 6’3”, 198. He will likely add some strength and weight as he matures. Was more known for his defensive abilities than his offensive abilities in Junior. The Rangers would probably be thrilled if Maggio could develop in the Rangers system into a player comparable to Defenseman Dan Girardi, who was signed as an undrafted FA before developing into a top 6 defender.
Drafted: Round 7, # 200
Ht: 5’11” Wt: 187
Team: Mechel (Russia Div. 2)
Central Scouting Final Rank: #130 International Skater
TSN Rank: N/A
Pashnin must have done something worth attracting the attention of Rangers Director of Player Personnel – Europe, Christer Rockstrom and Head Professional European Scout, Anders Hedberg. He was only rated the 130th International Skater which would typically mean that player should go undrafted. Instead the Rangers took a flier on the undersized Defenseman with their 7th round pick. I imagine Pashnin may stay in Russia (I’m not sure if a KHL club owns his rights or not) and if he progresses the way that the Rangers hope then they will try to bring him over to develop further.
All-in-all, the Rangers drafted heavily on offensive by using their first 4 draft choices on Centers. Kreider has the skill necessary to develop into a goal-scorer at the NHL level. Werek and Bourque are both guys not afraid to pay the price to score goals and could turn out to be steals in relation to where they were drafted. It may take several years to properly evaluate this draft but at this moment I am excited to see the Rangers add these prospects to the system.
As a Rangers fan I was hoping that the club would make a bigger splash at the draft, perhaps by adding a player like Dany Heatley via trade. A lot of players were rumored to be in play at the draft including the aforementioned Heatley, Vinny Lecavalier, Ryan Clow, Jack Johnson, Phil Kessel and Tomas Kaberle. The only deals of any consequence consummated at the draft was the trade of Chris Pronger to Philadelphia and Jay Bouwmeester’s rights being dealt to Calgary so the Rangers weren’t alone in their inability to get something done via trade.
How would you rate this draft for the Rangers? Were you also disappointed that Glen Sather was unable to add any impact forwards to the team with a trade? If you are a fan of another NHL team, how would you rate your team’s draft?