View Full Version : New York Rangers NHL DRAFT PREVIEW

06-18-2008, 03:44 PM
Top 10 Prospects

1. Alexei Cherepanov
2. Bobby Sanguinetti
3. Artem Anisimov
4. Alex Bourret
5. Michael Sauer
6. Ivan Baranka
7. Greg Moore
8. Lauri Korpikoski
9. Dane Byers
10. Hugh Jessiman

Team Needs

It is no secret that the Rangers need more defensive prospects in their system. The highest ranked defensive prospect, Bobby Sanguinetti, has just completed his junior hockey career and will most likely need at least one year of AHL seasoning before becoming an NHL-ready offensive blueliner. Ivan Baranka, who has been injury-plagued for the last three seasons, has returned to Europe and it is questionable as to whether or not he will return to North America. Finally, although Michael Sauer has the potential to become a No. 3 or 4 defenseman, he has a bit of development left to get there.

Given the Blueshirts weakness in this area (both in the system and on the NHL club), the team would be most helped by either drafting an NHL-ready blueliner this year or signing one of several available defensive UFAs. Given the expected tight salary cap situation and the competition from other NHL teams, both a power play quarterback and a solid hard-hitting defensive blueliner will be difficult to obtain.

Drafting an NHL-ready blueliner would be preferable, however, although there are several of those players potentially available in this week’s NHL Entry Draft, the Rangers would have to trade up from their No. 20 draft position to get one. The question then becomes what assets the Blueshirts would have to give up to draft one of the potentially NHL-ready blueliners, whether there is an NHL team interested in making such a deal, and whether the Rangers’ management is willing to pull the trigger.

This is not a likely scenario, as the price would be too high for the Rangers to move up the approximately 15 spots to be assured of getting that NHL-ready player. Alternatively, given the plethora of solid defensive players available in this Entry Draft, the Blueshirts might choose to move down several spots to gain an extra second or third round pick this or next year. This is more likely, as the Rangers will probably be able to get as good a defensive prospect in the mid-20s as at number 20.

The Rangers are also in need of a power forward. Although both prospects Dane Byers and Hugh Jessiman have the potential to be that player, neither appears to be on the cusp of filling that role, and there is a good chance that neither will ever develop into it. Although 2008 draftees Joe Colborne and Kirill Petrov have the potential to become NHL power forwards, it is unlikely that either will be available at the 20th pick. Jared Staal and Jimmy Hayes also have the potential to become the kind of wingers that the Rangers are looking for, however, both are likely to go later, so using the late first-round pick on either of those players would most likely be a mistake. And if the team can trade down and pick up an early second-round pick, either Staal or Hayes would be good pickups in that position.

Thus, the Rangers are likely to select a defenseman with the 20th or slightly lower pick and wait until the second round to pick up a forward.

Organizational strengths

The Rangers are very strong up the middle. With Chris Drury, Scott Gomez, and Brandon Dubinsky as NHL centers, as well as Artem Anisimov and converted wing Greg Moore soon to join them, New York’s greatest strength is at center. Additionally, with Henrik Lundqvist between the pipes, absent injury, the Blueshirts are set for many years. Just in case Lundqvist should falter or go down to injury, prospects David Leneveu, Miika Wiikman, and Matt Zaba are waiting for an opportunity to show that they are ready to step into the highest level.

Hockey's Future (http://www.hockeysfuture.com/articles/10430/rangers2008_draft_preview/)

06-18-2008, 03:45 PM
Organizational needs

The Rangers defense has been a problem for several years. With no legitimate offensive blueliner to quarterback the power play, scoring on special teams has been weak. Although the additions of Dan Girardi, Fedor Tyutin, and Marc Staal over the last two seasons have improved the Rangers’ defense corps, it is not yet of the quality that can withstand the playoff grind at the end of the season. The defense needs to be upgraded, including the addition of a top offensive defenseman and a very gritty, tough stay-at-home blueliner, for the Rangers to contend for the cup. Although Bob Sanguinetti has the potential to be such a power-play quarterback, the Rangers don’t have a very tough big defenseman among their prospects.

Draft tendencies

The Rangers have made 45 draft selections over the last five years. Over that period of time, New York has selected a very good mixture of CHL, college-bound, and European players (19, 11, 15, respectively). Although that total is somewhat deceptive (2007 Swedish selection Carl Hagelin attended the University of Michigan this past year), over the course of the five-year period, more and more CHL and European players have been selected. Over the past three years, the Rangers have only drafted three college-bound young men, while they selected 13 CHLers and six European athletes. Of the four that have played regularly for the NHL team (i.e., Marc Staal, Ryan Callahan, Brandon Dubinsky, and Nigel Dawes), all were drafted out of the CHL. It is expected that the trend toward drafting CHLers and Europeans will continue (the lack of an IIHF transfer agreement notwithstanding) this year.

Hockey’s Future Staff Mock Draft Result: Colby Robak

Over the last four years, the team has only selected six defensemen in the NHL Entry Drafts, and every single one of them came from the CHL. Although choosing another CHL blueliner is not a sure thing, with this year’s wealth of highly-rated major junior defensemen who have faced top-level competition, it is hard to believe that the Rangers would pass up an opportunity to select another one in the first round of the Entry Draft. With Alex Pietrangelo, Zach Bogosian, Drew Doughty and Luke Schenn all long gone, the Rangers were hoping to draft either Tyler Myers or Colten Teubert at No. 20. However, even in the HF's mock draft, the Rangers’ draft position was too low to secure one of these big defensive blueliners. With puck moving defensemen Michael Del Zotto and Luca Sbisa also taken at 18 and 19, the Rangers select Colby Robak, of the WHL Brandon Wheat Kings. Robak is an offensive blueliner who played well in the recent U18 WJCs. Although somewhat weak defensively during the WHL season, the big defenseman made huge strides in all areas of his game during his sophomore major junior season, and is expected to continue to grow into well-rounded blueliner over the next two years.

Hockey's Future (http://www.hockeysfuture.com/articles/10430/rangers2008_draft_preview/)

06-18-2008, 09:16 PM
just in case any of you guys were interested jared staal, the final of the four staal brothers, will be in this draft and is ranked number 50 on TSN's big board.

06-20-2008, 09:56 PM
Michael Del Zotto

Comparable: Mathieu Schneider

From TSN: No one questions whether there's a high end to this defenceman's game, but Del Zotto has yet to put it all together to the satisfaction of the scouts who have been left wanting more. That said, if he were taken higher than 15, it wouldn't be a huge surprise, because he has great offensive potential. But it would not be a shock either if he slipped a little. Scouts believe there's an immaturity to his game, that he's been negatively affected by the (rightful) perception that his stock has dipped over the last two years. Back then, it was assumed Del Zotto would be in the same class as Doughty, Bogosian, Pietrangelo and Schenn but a gap has developed between them and him and the sense is he's been bothered by that and is still working through it.

From NHL Central Scouting: He is the new breed offensive defenseman who jumps up into the rush effectively; he either follows up a rush to add a second dimension or there are times that he is capable of leading the rush himself. As an offensive defenseman, he is prototypical. He needs to improve on the defensive coverage side of the game.


06-21-2008, 12:18 AM
Defenseman Michael Del Zotto of the Ontario Hockey League's Oshawa Generals became the newest member of the New York Rangers organization on Friday night after being selected 20th overall in the first round of the 2008 NHL Entry Draft at Scotiabank Place in Ottawa.

Del Zotto, rated 15th overall in the annual Hockey News draft preview issue and 15th among North American skaters by NHL Central Scouting, is known throughout the OHL as an offensive defenseman, much like the Rangers' 2006 first-round pick, Bobby Sanguinetti, who also played his major-junior hockey in the OHL.

When it came time for the Rangers to pick at No. 20 on Friday night, there was a sense of celebration at the draft table, much like last year, when Alexei Cherepanov fell into the Blueshirts' hands at No. 17. Nearly half of Friday's first-round picks -- 12 in all -- were defenseman. Years from now, the 2008 NHL Entry Draft might go down in history, depending on the success of those players.

"We were really excited," Rangers Head Amateur Scout Jim Hammett said of the chance to draft Del Zotto. "We had held this guy in really high regard as far as how high he could go. We think that he belonged in that upper echelon with some of the other defensemen that went higher, so overall we were absolutely thrilled that he was still there."

In 2007-08, Del Zotto scored 16 goals and 63 points in 64 games for Oshawa, a strong follow-up to a rookie season that saw him score 10 goals and 57 points. As a rookie, he became the first 16-year-old defenseman named to an OHL All-Star Classic, and this past season he participated in the annual CHL Top Prospects Game, where he won the shooting accuracy skills event by going 4-for-4.

Del Zotto, whose 63 points ranked third among OHL defensemen and were only seven behind Sanguinetti, was at his best in the postseason, scoring two goals and eight points in 15 games as the Generals reached the third round of the league playoffs. He also tied for fifth in the league with five shorthanded goals.

His success wasn't just limited to league play. Representing Team Ontario at the 2007 Canada Winter Games, Del Zotto scored the gold-medal clinching goal.

"He is the new breed offensive defenseman who jumps up into the rush effectively; he either follows up a rush to add a second dimension or there are times that he is capable of leading the rush himself," the NHL Central Scouting Director E.J. Maguire said in the league's publicly distributed draft profiles. "As an offensive defenseman, he is prototypical."

Earlier in the season, Del Zotto was rated as a possible top-five pick by scouts.

Kyle Woodlief's Red Line Report scouting publication compares Del Zotto to Rangers defenseman Michal Rozsival at the same stage of his career and projects hi as a power-play quarterback specialist. The publication's staff writes that Del Zotto is a "tremendously instinctive offensive force who sees the ice beautifully, shows great touch on passes and can really run a power play with superb puck movement skills."

Growing up in Stouffville, Ontario, Del Zotto always wore No. 4 in tribute to Bobby Orr, who also played in Oshawa. Del Zotto was inspired to play defense by watching Orr in old Bruins game tapes that his father had recorded.

As a youngster, Del Zotto befriended fellow 2008 first-rounders Steven Stamkos (No. 1 to Tampa Bay) and Cody Hodgson (No. 10 to Vancouver), as all three players skated for the Markham Waxers in the greater Toronto area.

"Michael is a very skilled skater, puck handler, and shooter," Chris DePiero, Del Zotto's coach in Oshawa, told the NHL. "He can be a physical presence who will be an asset to any team's power-play. He continues to improve defensively on a daily basis."

Generals GM Brad Selwood takes his praise even further, giving him high praise in this year's NHL draft preview guide.

"He is just poised way beyond his years. He fit right in from Day 1," said Selwood, a former NHL player. "Last year when we first saw him, even in the exhibition games, you'd think he was 20-years-old. You'd have to rub your eyes and say; 'Wow, who is that kid?' He's so poised and so good with the puck ... He loves to pass the puck, and he's very good at it. Everything's hard and crisp and on the stick."

Although he grew up a Maple Leafs fan and lists former New Jersey Devils defenseman Scott Niedermayer as his favorite NHL player, Del Zotto's NHL allegiances now belong to the Blueshirts, who continue to load up on talented young defensemen through the draft.

Three of the Rangers' past four first-round picks (Marc Staal, Sanguinetti and Del Zotto) have been defenseman. Within a few years they could all be together on the blue line along with two other young players in Dan Girardi and Fedor Tyutin, giving the Rangers reason to feel confident about their long-term future on the back end.

Hammett said it was pure coincidence that the last three defensemen picked by the Rangers in the first round all came from the OHL. The Blueshirts draft philosophy is to take the best player available, and like Sanguinetti in 2006, Del Zotto was a clear choice this year.

"We feel Michael thinks the game very well in his own zone and we think he's a pretty well-rounded kid who has done a lot of good things with the puck this year," said Hammett.

The Rangers return to the draft table on Saturday morning to make their remaining four picks. They will pick in the second round at No. 51 overall, in the third round at No. 75 overall before making their final picks in Rounds 5-7 (Nos. 141, 171 and 201).

"We feel this is a really strong second round coming up," said Hammett. "It's one of the best ones I've seen in the past few years."

NHL.COM (http://rangers.nhl.com/)

06-22-2008, 01:13 AM
Rangers also drafted
Derek Stepan C
Evgeny Grachev C
Tomas Kundratek D
Dale Weise RW
Chris Doyle C
Mitch Gaulton C
Jani Lajunen C

07-21-2008, 06:42 AM
Rangers also drafted
Derek Stepan C
Evgeny Grachev C
Tomas Kundratek D
Dale Weise RW
Chris Doyle C
Mitch Gaulton C
Jani Lajunen C

Anytime you can get 2 sure NHL players in any draft year id say you did well.

Del Zotto and Grachev will for sure be key players in the Rangers future.

And who knows maybe one of the others will suprise also. :D

07-24-2008, 09:24 PM
Evgeny Grachev

Evgeny Grachev is a tempting project prospect due to his size, physical presence and offensive skills. The young forward is an above average skater and is also a slightly above average puck hander, presenting an interesting overall package. His primary weapons in the offensive zone are his above average wrist shot and his drive towards the net to clean up the rebounds and put in the puck. While Grachev‚€™s physical presence is impressive for a player his age and who is raised in the European hockey system, he needs to continue to improve in this area as he continues to rise through the ranks in Russia and potential in North America. With all that said ‚€“ his size is still his main asset that makes him so attractive. His faceoff skills continue to develop and while he has ways to develop, he is already developing his skills in this area and promises to be strong. A concern is whether he can continue to develop his overall skills and skating to keep raising his game to the next level. At this point he has only skated in the juniors and while being relatively impressive there, he is yet to get a shot against professionals. This means he could end up being another talented center following Artem Anisimov (with more physical presence), who continues on track to being an NHL player‚€¶or he could end up being a Artem Kryukov type player who doesn‚€™t fulfill his potential. Fortunately, unlike the Buffalo Sabres former first round selection, Grachev already filled out his impressive 6‚€™3 frame and remains more or less injury free thus far in his career.

Russian Hockey (http://www.russianprospects.com/public/profile.php?player_id=647)-thats why the english is a bit bad

Derek Stepan

The Rangers selected high-scoring center Derek Stepan in the second round with their 51st overall pick. A natural goal scorer, the 6'0-168 pound Minnesota native scored 41 goals in 63 games last season for the vaunted Shattuck-St. Mary's high school hockey program that produced Sidney Crosby, Zach Parise, Ryan Malone, and a number of other NHL players. Stepan "has excellent offensive instincts and big-time scoring potential," according to THN, "but is smallish and must get stronger in order to maximize his upside. [He] projects as a top-six forward in the pros if he can improve his play without the puck." He will be attending the University of Wisconsin in the fall.

Blue Shirt Bulletin (http://www.blueshirtbulletin.com/2008/06/rangers-stepan.html)

ill find more info about the other guys

07-28-2008, 12:33 PM
We had a pretty good draft. Del Zotto was the best available player, although I think having both him and Sanguinetti is overkill. If they both reach their potential, we could finally have a situation like when we had both Leetch and Zubov. I just feel bad for Lundqvist and whoever their d-partners are... lol

Grachev was probably my favorite pick. He got slept on because he's Russian and apparently no one wanted to take the chance just in case he wouldn't come to North America. However, he was at the prospect camp the week after the draft, even though he had to go back to Russia to fix visa issues and even had to borrow gear to take the ice. He also is playing in Canadian juniors next season, showing that he's dedicated to playing in the NHL... even with the threat from Russia saying that anyone who goes to North America and doesn't play in the NHL that season would be banned from Russian international tournament teams for 5 years.

I'm drooling over a possible future Russian line of: Grachev - Anisimov - Cherepanov... even though Anisimov will undoubtedly be moved to wing since we have Gomez, Drury and Dubinksy down the center already. That said, I'll just cross my fingers that Drury moves to left wing. :p

Kundratek could be a sleeper pick. He's apparently a physical d-man without much offensive upside, but solid in his own zone. We're lacking that type of defensive depth in the system with Sanguinetti and Del Zotto being offensive guys, while Sauer being a shut down type of d-man without much physicality.