The New York Rangers didn’t have a first round draft pick for the second straight year but after a trade for one of their third rounders, ended up with seven picks at this years NHL Entry Draft. Glen Sather and his staff have been great in past drafts at finding lightning in a bottle in the middle to later rounds. Keegan Iverson was selected by the New York Rangers in the third round of the Entry Draft. This year their first draft pick came at number fifty-nine where they chose Goaltender Brandon Halverson. The left-handed heavy New York Rangers scored in the third round of the Entry Draft where Glen Sather selected Centerman Keegan Iversonwithe the eighty-fifth pick from the Portland Winterhawks of the Western Hockey League. Keegan Iverson is a big right-handed centerman that plays a gritty game with some offensive skills to go along with defensive discipline. Rangers fans like Jen had this to say about the New York Rangers new prospect.
@iverke Is a solid player, I am SO happy the Rangers drafted him…works hard and hits hard…Rangers need that.
— Jen (@HockeyJen27) June 30, 2014
Keegan Iverson fills a few organizational needs for the New York Rangers
We’ve all heard ad nauseam about how the New York Rangers lost the Stanley Cup Finals due in part to the lack of size down the middle. New York Rangers General Manager Glen Sather will have ponder that issue for the near future since Keegan Iverson is at least a couple of years away from even turning pro. Some seasoning in the New York Rangers American Hockey League affiliate Hartford Wolfpack will do this young man good. He does everything the New York Rangers could have used against the larger Los Angeles Kings in the finals. Having a young kid like him fighting for space in the crease would have changed the outcome of a few of those games. Head Coach Alain Vigneault has been looking for a forward on the roster that can be a consistent force in the opponents crease. Chris Kreider has the size but wasn’t always in the right position due to a lack of experience. When Keegan Iverson makes the jump to the NHL, he will no doubt be that type of player.
Keegan Iverson will stay in the WHL next year and have a larger role with the Portland WinterHawks.
Central Scouting had Keegan Iverson ranked as the eighty-fifth best North American Skater and ironically he was selected with the eighty-fifth overall draft pick. He will play next season in the Western Hockey League with Portland only he will have a larger role as many of his teammates will graduate to the pro game.
"With the way the game is going you've heard every new GM say we want to get bigger and stronger and faster, and play that heavy style; well that's the type of game (Iverson) plays," said Gordie Clark, the New York Rangers Director of Player personnel. "Portland had a really good team with five really high-skilled players that got most of the ice time. So I think with more ice time available next year Keegan Iverson's numbers will go up."
This year will be huge for the hulking center in the Western Hockey League. Many of his teammates that were ahead of him in ice time have graduated the minors and will be playing pro hockey for whatever team they were drafted by. Keegan Iverson will be one of the leaders on the Portland Winterhawks next year. If he builds on the 22G-20A-43 points he had last season in sixty-seven games played, he could go pro next season with Hartford or make the New York Rangers the following season.