7. New York Rangers
Strengths: The Rangers have excellent forward prospects, led by 2009 first round draft selection Chris Kreider. In addition to three diminutive snipers, including Chris Thomas, Ryan Bourque and Mats Zuccarello, the Rangers also have Carl Hagelin and Roman Horak, each of whom is expected to be a third-line contributor. New York's recent drafting and one trade with Montreal in 2009 have also brought some excellent defensive prospects into the organization, with Ryan McDonagh already contributing at the NHL level, and Pavel Valentenko and Tomas Kundratek no more than a year away. Weaknesses: The Rangers are weak in goaltending prospects, with only two free agents and a junior netminder in the organization. None of those netminders projects to be a number one goaltender in the NHL, and there are questions whether any of them will even be able to serve as an NHL backup in the coming years. Top 5 Prospects: 1. Chris Kreider, LW, 2. Ryan McDonagh, D, 3. Christian Thomas, RW, 4. Evgeny Grachev, C, 5. Mats Zuccarello, LW. Lost to graduation: Derek Stepan, Michael Sauer.
The Rangers were ranked #9 in HF's fall rankings.
For more awesome news on the Rangers prospects front check out this post from Jess Rubenstein over at The Prospect Park.
...i am so pumped for the future of the franshise. Things may seem grim now after another early playoff exit. But I'm telling you this team will be a perennial Cup contender in 2-3 years.
I didn't think McDonagh was a prospect. The spot is his to lose but I don't think anyone's projecting that. And how does Grachev rank above Zuccarello?! Zucs did pretty well in New York and Grachev has been slow to produce in Hartford. I'm rooting for him to succeed, but Zuccarello will be logging more minutes before Grachev.
All right all right I'm excited. I'll have a glass of Kool-aid, please. The thing I find the most optimistic is that there have been a few pleasant surprises sprinkled in with the higher picks. These surprise players are key to long-term success. I wouldn't worry too much about the goaltending as Hank has good years left and, with all of the young D prospects and forward draft picks they have made over the past few drafts, they will have the luxury to spend a higher pick on a G prospect or two.
No. 7 is good....with Lundqvist did not think that goaltending would be a weakness...by the way..has Ryan McDonagh not "graduated" as well..he really is going to be a great young player for us..Go Rangers!!
@AnnoyingJoe Welcome to the club.
@scimoon1 Agree on both points. Rangers aren't focused on goaltending prospects due to Hank right now and yes McD should be graduated, right?