I’ve seen a few people say recently that the Rangers should select a goalie in one of the earlier rounds to become Henrik Lundqvist’s replacement down the road. Let me first say I don’t even want to think of the time when Henrik isn’t the starting goalie for the Rangers anymore. That’s a scary thought for me. While in essence it’s a good idea to plan ahead, it isn’t as simple to select a goalie as some assume.
Goalies are complete crapshoots. If you look across the league and see what rounds a team’s starting goalie was drafted, odds are it’s in the later rounds. Here are the rounds this year’s Vezina finalists were drafted
Henrik Lundqvist- 7th round
Pekka Rinne- 8th round
Jonathan Quick- 3rd round
If you then look league wide, you’ll see draft position for goalies isn’t really important. There are plenty of late round and undrafted goalies in the league. So why should the Rangers make it somewhat of a priority to draft a goalie again?
Henrik won’t be going anywhere anytime soon, so it definitely is not a priority for the Rangers to get a goalie. If I were the Rangers though I’d draft maybe one or two goalies a year in the later rounds because eventually one of those guys will pan out. The Rangers do not need to be worried right now about developing Henrik’s heir to the thrown.
Not to mention with goalies having much longer careers in today’s NHL it isn’t a crazy thought to see Henrik still playing eight years from now. If Henrik still keeps in top shape I wouldn’t be shocked to see him playing in his late 30′s. As long as the Rangers keep using free agency and drafting goalies late, they should be fine between the pipes for years to come.