Saturday, June 25, 2011

New York Rangers 2011 Draft: Recapping Day 2

Entering the day the Rangers looked like they were going to have a quiet early and late portion of the day since they were not scheduled to select until the fourth round and had no picks after the fifth.  Though many talked about weak this draft was, the New York Rangers obviously saw some things in it that they liked in the talent pool. 
The team moved into the third round by trading away Evgeny Grachev to St. Louis for the number 72 pick in the draft.  The Rangers would make a second trade on the day by swapping next year’s sixth round selection with Nashville for their 2011 sixth rounder at number 172.
I am going to go through each pick with a quick summary, while you can find more information on them by clicking the link to their selection article.
The pick the Rangers received in exchange for trading the unhappy Grachev went to taking a high school player that has good size, solid skill and tremendous work ethic.  Fogarty is a project and has not played much against higher level competition.  He will spend this year in the USHL before heading off to Notre Dame.  Upside is there, but it is likely to take a good amount of time until he is ready for the NHL.
After being seen as a potential second round pick, St. Croix slipped to the fourth round and gives the Rangers a chance at a steal in the draft.  Skating is his strength and he has the hands to go with it.  Struggles with the other side of the ice in his game and is undersized.
McColgan is another undersized winger who has excellent speed and tremendous hands.  Prior to the season he was season as possibly even cracking the top-10 in this draft, but a slow start and size concerns ended those thoughts quickly.  The upside on him is tremendous with little risk in round five.  Certainly a chance he never makes it to the NHL level as his numbers were relatively stagnant from year-to-year in Juniors, but you take these kind of chances in the later rounds to see if the skill pans out.
The Rangers have suddenly gone from a team with few if any big and mean defenseman to stockpiling them over recent years.  The development of Michael Sauer at the NHL level, drafting of Dylan McIlrath was a good start, and Noreau is another in that mold.  Coming in at 6-foot-5 and 215 pounds he plays a physical and rough game.  There is certainly need to work on his skating and little offensive skill, but there is always room for a player that defends his teammates and clears the crease in front of his net.
Speaking of stockpiling big defensive defenders, the Rangers trading a 2012 sixth round pick to be able to select Ceresnak.  Ceresnak also plays a defense first game and a simple game at that.  With skating issues, he does have a tendency to struggle with quicker players.  Seen as a sleeper talent by some thinking he could have gone in the third round earlier in the year, so certainly potential value here.  Rangers have had good success mining Europe in the late rounds in recent years as well.
Recap of the overall quality of the draft tomorrow.