There is no question that the New York Rangers are regarded as one of the most historic franchises in the National Hockey League. The Rangers have been in a “rebuilding” process the last two NHL seasons which was understandable to fans of the team after a well-written letter by the organization, telling the fans about the process that’s taking place. The rebuild approach was acknowledged by new team President John Davidson, who restated at his press conference that rebuilds “require both patience and resolve.” But, this rebuild could be fastly coming to an end with the upcoming picks, prospects and roster players that could take the NHL by storm next season with the Metropolitan Division having a big question mark heading into the offseason.
2019 NHL Draft
On Friday, June 21st, the New York Rangers will select second overall and 20th overall (from Winnipeg Jets in Kevin Hayes trade) in the first round. With that second overall draft choice, it’s regarded as “the best pick in the draft” and this is because they ultimately don’t have to make the tough decision between Jack Hughes or Kaapo Kakko. They will select the player that New Jersey doesn’t pick first overall and it won’t be considered as a bad pick because both players are unbelievably talented. Adding Hughes or Kakko to the Rangers lineup next season makes their team even faster and more skilled because of what each player can bring to the table each and every night.
Rangers Prospect Pool
The Rangers have a deep list of prospects that they have acquired via trade or through the draft that could make a significant impact in the NHL either next year or in the near future. The main reason the Rangers could surprise the NHL next season and maybe squeak into the playoffs is because of this great list of prospects:
Filip Chytil, Age 19, Drafted 21st overall in 2017
Lias Andersson, Age 20, Drafted 7th overall in 2017
Brett Howden, Age 21, acquired from Lightning, Drafted 27th overall in 2016
Brendan Lemieux, Age 23, acquired from Winnipeg Jets, Drafted 31st overall in 2014
Vitaly Kravtsov, Age 19, Drafted 9th overall in 2018
Ville Meskanen, Age 23, Signed by Rangers from Ilves Tampere in 2018
Ryan Lindgren, Age 21, acquired from Bruins, Drafted 49th overall in 2016
K’Andre Miller, Age 19, Drafted 22nd overall in 2018
Libor Hajek, Age 21, acquired from Lightning, Drafted 37th overall in 2016
Adam Fox, Age 21, acquired from Hurricanes, Drafted 66th overall in 2016
Neal Pionk, Age 23, Signed by Rangers from University of Minnesota-Duluth in 2017
Igor Shestyorkin, Age 23, Drafted 118th overall in 2014
Alexandar Georgiev, Age 23, Signed by Rangers from TPS in 2017
This is a deep list of young talent that’s either currently on the NHL roster or developing elsewhere. When and if most of these players come together on the Rangers team, things look very good for them in the near future to have more success and compete for a playoff spot.
The Rangers don’t have much expectations next year to do damage but we have seen a recent trend in the NHL where suprise teams that have a nucleus of young players end up pushing for a playoff spot and even making it. We have seen this with the Maple Leafs and Oilers in 2017, the Jets in 2018, the Hurricanes, Avalanche and Islanders in 2019. If this Rangers team can get a great season out of core players such as Mika Zibanejad, Chris Kreider and Brady Skjei again don’t be shocked if this team is battling coming down the stretch. Georgiev and Lundqvist will have to hold their own in net which they have the ability to if they split next year. Georgiev last season had a 14-13-4 record with a 2.91 GAA and a .915 SV% which isn’t terrible for a Rangers team that wasn’t amazing.
The main goal for the Rangers next year isn’t to make the playoffs but, it’s to take a step forward in developing young players. With the possibility of most young guns within their organization playing next year, this Rangers team may not finish last in the Metro and has the potential to surprise the whole NHL.