Saturday, August 13, 2011

How Key Rangers Became Blueshirts

In a very interesting read, Joshua Smith at Puck Press breaks down how the current, and a few future Rangers, came to be part of the organization.  It is amazing how the ties to 1994 keep coming up even in the current crop.  I have already looked at how Michael Sauer was the best piece from the Brian Leetch trade, but as Joshua points out Messier had a hand in bring in Callahan and Tony Amonte played a role in Brandon Dubinsky’s drafting.  Another funny note is how many of these players that are taken with picks the Rangers dealt to the other teams ended up being Rangers, even if for a short time.
Ryan Callahan – 2004, 4th round (#127 overall).  In 2003, the CBA awarded a compensatory draft pick to teams who had an unrestricted free agent sign elsewhere. Planning to re-sign pending UFA Mark Messier, the Rangers traded him to the San Jose Sharks for a fourth round draft pick.  The next day, Messier became a free agent and re-signed with the Rangers.  The Sharks received a fourth round pick (#91) from the league, and the Rangers ended up with the draft pick that would eventually become Ryan Callahan.
This was a frequent occurrence a few years ago in dealing away the rights to players right before July 1 to ensure some level of compensation while they could then re-sign them right after free agency started.
Brandon Dubinsky – 2004, 2nd round (#60 overall).  In 2003, the Flyers picked up Tony Amonte from the Coyotes in return for prospect Guillaume Lefebvre and draft picks.  Looking to trade down at the 2004 Entry Draft, the Rangers sent their second round pick (#50) to the Coyotes for the second round pick they’d acquired from Philadelphia (#60) and a third-round pick (#89).  The Coyotes used that #50 to draft future Ranger (briefly) Enver Lisin; with the #60 pick, the Rangers selected Brandon Dubinsky.

Marc Staal – 2005, 1st round (#12 overall). With the Sharks very interested in Devon Setoguchi, they traded up to get the #8 pick from the Atlanta Thrashers, sending the #12, a second round pick (#49), and a seventh round pick (#207) to Atlanta.  When Staal was still available at #12, the Rangers sent their first round pick (#16) and one of their three second round picks (#41) to Atlanta to be able to select him.  With those two picks, the Thrashers picked up Alex Bourret (who would eventually become a Ranger, though very briefly) and goaltender Ondrej Pavelec.
People wonder why Atlanta had trouble creating a winner down there and look no further than moves like this in the 2005 draft.  Instead of taking Setoguchi or Staal they ended up with four picks that only netted them one NHL player in Ondrej Pavelec.  If you are going to pass on guys like Setoguchi or Staal you have to turn those picks into players.
Jesper Fasth – 2010, 6th round (#157 overall). This draft pick was acquired, along with a 2011 second round pick (#57), in the trade that sent Bobby Sanguinetti to the Carolina Hurricanes. Sanguinetti was originally drafted in the first round (#21 overall) by the Rangers in the 2006 Entry Draft.
I included this one in the rundown not solely because of what Fasth can become, but because the second round pick in the Sanguinetti deal was 1 of the 2 second rounders, along with Roman Horak the Rangers used to get Tim Erixon from the Calgary Flames earlier this summer.  Funny to think that the Rangers tremendous defense could be made of just one player that was selected with an original Rangers selection (Michael Del Zotto), even if Staal and Sauer were taken by the club.
Be sure to check out the full list for more interesting routes some of the Rangers players have taken to get to Broadway.

Rangers Prospect J.T. Miller Guaranteeing Himself A Spot On USA WJC Team?

The move by the New York Rangers to select J.T. Miller 15th overall in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft has been questioned by many, but Miller is doing his best this week at Team USA’s National Junior Evaluation Camp.  Miller has been one of the standouts this week for Team USA by using his skating, strength and willingness to go the front of the net to have a consistent impact in each game.  Chris Peters at United States of Hockey has seen enough of Miller this week to consider him a virtual lock for the WJC team this year.
J.T. Miller – The one thing Miller has consistently done in the tournament is use his speed incredibly well. He’s strong in his skates and beats defensemen with his legs. The one thing he’ll have to avoid is penalty trouble, which he got into against Finland. That said, if he continues to wheel like this, it’s going to be impossible to leave him off the squad.
Miller making the WJC team would be an excellent thing for his development due to the extra games and the competition level he will face in the tournament.  More importantly than that, reading the reports on how Miller has played this week gives Rangers fans an even better idea of the type of game that Miller plays.  Questions about his upside in terms of skill will likely remain in the short-term, but the fact that he fits the Rangers mold of hard-working, relentless players only furthers the understanding of why he was the selection as opposed to some of the players considered to have more talent.  Miller appears to have the power forward mentality, which for the improvements the Rangers have made on the ice and in the system is something they have not truly developed to this point.  The hope is certainly that both Chris Kreider and Miller will fill that void in the near future.