I really do hate writing or reading about peoples opinions on players that they don’t truly know. Anyone can read a stat line or watch these kids dominate a level they probably don’t belong in right now. A lot of these players look like what the Morning Skate Skate team will look like in Burlington come late July….pure dominance. The GM’s, scouts, and coaches interview and scout these players for a very long time, so it’s pretty ballsy in my eyes, to critique their work without letting things fully shake out. But when it comes to my Rangers, given their past in the draft, critique I will. I’ve suffered enough and deserve to give my opinion.
Pick #9 – Vitali Kravtsov, RW
This kid was 17 playing in the KHL last year and won Rookie of the Year honors. Vitali’s regular season numbers were not impressive, only notching 4 goals and 7 points in 35 games. Not exactly the stat line I wanted to see. His playoff numbers (6g-5a, 16gp) are keeping me from not having a heart attack. Rangers desperately need a player that can consistently put the puck in the net, so why didn’t they take Wahlstrom? He was the best goal scorer in the draft, from what the experts say. But we will see how this Russian turns out. Vitali is 6-3 and 183 right now and needs another year or two to fill out. The potential is there and will certainly be a beast of a player. Hopefully a strong power forward that can find his scoring touch before he comes into the NHL.
Pick #22 (Ottawa Senators) – K’Andre Miller, D
The Rags went after this kid. Trading their 26th and 48th picks. I love it. This kid has a huge ceiling. Any player that has Kathryn Tappen asking them to squeeze her hand off her body can play for my team. Miller is a beast (6-3, 198) and is a perfect fit for the New York Rangers on a couple levels. First, we now have a coach that is willing to take the time to teach and develop young players. K’Andre will need some coaching for sure since he has been only playing defense for 3 years. Second, I love this kids skating ability as a D-man. If you’re a strong skater and can move the puck, you’ll be fine in the NHL. A very smart pick and that adds so much to our defense for years to come. He will be at Wisconsin next year (Ryan McDonagh?), but holy hell am I excited for this guy. Sky is the limit.
Grade: A- (I threw the minus sign in there to seem smart).
Pick #28 – Nils Lundkvist, D
Another D-man? Really? You already got a few defensemen (Lindgren, Hajek, and Rykov) at the trade deadline. How many more D prospects do we need? I guess it’s safe to say that we are good for some years to come with our d-core. But anyways, onto the player. Standing at 5-11 and 172 pounds, Nils, has a lot of work to do if he wants to play at the NHL level. I know he shot up the central scouting list because of his skating and offensive ability, but I honestly don’t know if we will ever see this kid in a Rangers uniform. Playing in Sweden is much different than the NHL and I think it will take a lot for him to develop into an NHL defensemen, especially given our depth at that position…..There were a few players left that I wanted. One of them being, Serron Noel (6-5, 200) who will turn into a Blake Wheeler type player if he improves his skating. I’m grading this pick on two levels. Who they drafted and what they could have gotten to better help fit their needs at the time.
I sure hope I am wrong about that last one. I just don’t see it. Nothing sticks out to me on why Nils was a good choice given the other players still available. But like I said before. This is all fandom. I’m not in the video room nor a part of the interviews. But I do know the Rangers have needs. Scoring and grit up front has always been one of them. This isn’t a defensive league. You need to put the puck in the net. We missed an opportunity to grab a pure goal scorer and a huge power forward that has potential to be a dominant player. Please let me be wrong….Please!
Overall Rangers Grade: C+
Blog grade: B+ (Ked will be pleased with the Morning Skate team hype in Burlington).