With the Entry Draft two days away, 3rd party scouting and mock drafts are going to be as up to date and accurate as they’re ever going to get. So why not look at whom some people are projecting to be the Rangers pick at 15th overall? Now, keep in mind that all of these are either a simply ranking of eligible prospects or a someone’s predictions. Nothing here is the result of insider knowledge. Let’s see who various sources think will become the newest Rangers prospect on Friday:
Fansided- We’ll start off with our very own website. Fansided had a mock draft of its own, where each team’s lead blogger drafted in their team’s spot(s). I chose Marc McNeill 15th overall.
NHL.com- The NHL’s website had four guys each do a mock draft, and while if they’re employed by the NHL then they have to be at least knowledgeable and pretty informed about the eligible prospects. Deven Persuad and Adam Kimelman each have us selected center Boone Jenner. Mike Morreale sees us selected Mark McNeill, and Steven Hoffner sees Mike Zibanejad dropping to us. Though the four come up with 3 different players, the consensus is that the Rangers will draft a center of some kind.
TSN- Pierre McGuire and Craig Button combine to make TSN’s mock draft, and they too see Mark McNeill as the 15th overall pick.
Rotoworld- Mike Finewax of Rotoworld also has the Rangers taking a center this year. However, he brings a new name to the table: Vladislav Namestnikov, a two-way Russian center currently playing in the OHL.
The Hockey News- We finally see mock draft that doesn’t have the Rangers taking a center. Ryan Kennedy thinks that Joel Armia will become a Ranger. Armia is a winger who has a good combination of skill and size. That’s certainly something our organization lacks.
Sports City- Add another center to the list, Mark Scheifele. Scheifele needs to add some bulk but it a tall center who is a quality playmaker.
Pro Hockey News- It looks like we’re in agreement here at Blue Line Station. Alex Nunn also thinks that the Rangers will be selecting Mark McNeill.
Mock Draft Mania- Mock Draft Mania also moves away from the centers and thinks that Brandon Saad is a fit in New York, though they do point out that Saad can slide in at center if needed.
There are certainly other sites out there, though I think I’ve referenced many of the reliable and knowledgeable sources. The general consensus seems to be that the Rangers will draft a center. Part of this is because it is an organizational need. Oscar Lindberg is the only true center in our prospect pool that is a quality prospect. After him, Andrew Yogan is a decent prospect, and that’s it. However, the projections of the Rangers drafting a center is also just incidental. There are a slew of centers that are projected to go in the 10-20 range, so the odds of the best player available being a center are relatively high. Glen Sather and the scouting staff are well aware of what the areas of strength and weakness are, but don’t expect them to reach for a player in order to address that. Whomever the Rangers draft will be the player the Rangers like the most. If that player happens to be a center then all the better.