The New York Rangers might not be making a big splash at the 2011 NHL Entry Draft with a 15th overall pick. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and the other buzz names will all be scooped up early. But they still have the opportunity to land a scoring forward of the future to bring some depth. Rather than muscle, the Blueshirts should focus on hands, i.e. bringing in potential scoring talent. The blueline has so much promise, now it’s time to build up skill and playmaking.
Below are some projections from around the web on who could be pulling a Blueshirt over their head Friday night.
Via NHL.com ’s writers:
Adam Kimelman and Devin Persaud’s pick -> Boone Jenner, C, Oshawa (OHL) “Big center who does everything right, from scoring goals to killing penalties.” “Hard-working forward fits the mold of current Rangers Brandon Dubinsky and Ryan Callahan.”
Mike Morreale’s pick –>Mark McNeill, C, Prince Albert (WHL) “Tough and talented, 32 goals, 81 points in 70 games”
Steven Hoffner’s pick –> Mika Zibanejad, C, Djurgarden (SWE) “Rangers are in need of scoring, and Zibanejad is a forward with great hands.”
Via The Hockey News : Joel Armia, RW, Assat (FIN) ”Budding power forward from Finland is lethal with man advantage and not afraid to shoot the puck”
Via TSN ’s Pierre McGuire –> Mark McNeill, C, Prince Albert (OHL) “McNeill is one of those players that can do a lot of great things offensively. But if you look at his 57 point increase this year, you’re looking at a heck of a player.”
Via our own Corey Krakower of Pro Sports Blogging — > Mark Scheifele, C, Barrie (OHL) “Hard working forward, provides size and determination up front” –NHL.com
My pick – >Give Mark McNeill a chance to wear red, white and blue…assuming he’s not grabbed up by the Stars or Flames. At 6-2 and 210 pounds, the physical forward can make an impact fast and fits the black and blue style work ethic the Rangers want to maintain. He can be a happy medium between the grind it out grit and the put the puck in the net type the Rangers could utilize. He had 81 points in 70 games last season for the Prince Albert Raiders and six assists for Team Canada at the 2011 Under-18 World Junior Championships. He has the potential to be a playmaker with a scoring touch.
The Draft kicks off tomorrow night in Minnesota. Coverage beings at 7 p.m. ET on Versus.
About the Author
Written by Margaret DeJesus
I'm a recent college graduate looking for a dream job covering hockey. I've been watching the New York Rangers since my grade school days of VHS and Gordon Bombay's "ducks fly together" speech. While studying journalism at Boston University (COM '10), I wrote for the Daily Free Press, the student newspaper. I worked two summers at the Staten Island Advance, my hometown newspaper, writing city news and features. I've also written CD reviews for Music-Reviewer.com. One of my favorite gigs was interning for hockey analyst extraordinaire Stan Fischler covering the Boston Bruins and attending all their home games in the 2009-2010 season. (Yes, including the crushing defeat against the Flyers in the Eastern Conference playoffs.)