Many of us expected the Rangers to trade in to either the second or third rounds this afternoon, but not at the expense of prospect forward Evgeny Grachev.
Grachev was traded to the St Louis Blues for the 72nd overall pick today, with which the Rangers selected Minnesota high-schooler Steven Fogarty.
Fogarty is a 6’2 centerman from Edina H.S., regarded by many to be a project player with plenty of development to do.
Bruins Draft Watch had this to say about Fogarty;
"Underrated and skilled centerman with size makes his B2011DW debut on this post and has some real interesting long-term potential. The proverbial rink rat who eats, sleeps, breathes hockey- Fogarty finished his HS career at Edina and then jumped to the Chicago Steel of the USHL, where he’s been drinking from the fire hose of late. You have to credit the kid for risking his draft stock a little, which was pretty high given how well he played as a senior, by going to the USHL where his lack of strength and defensive awareness is being exposed a bit on a weak team and against older, stronger players. Still, there is a lot to like about this playmaking pivot who has a long stride and gets up the ice quickly. He has soft hands and superb vision for finding teammates in open ice. His work ethic is laudable- he wants to play and loves to compete; goes above and beyond to make himself better and put himself into situations that will put him in position to improve. He’s raw and needs significant work, but will spend the entire 2011-12 season in the USHL. At 6-1, 195, he’s got the physical tools to be a solid NHL prospect and watch for him to go relatively high (3rd-4th rounds) in the draft."
The biggest surprise here will be that the Rangers seem to have given up on Grachev, something which we will continue to dissect over the coming days. Fogarty fits the mould of many of this years third-round selections so it isn’t a great surprise to see him taken at this point. Hard-working, skilled and a gamer… another player that fits the Rangers style to a tee. Fogarty posted 23 goals in 24 games for Edina last season, adding 17 assists for 40 points.
Check back for quotes and further updates on Fogarty and the Grachev trade throughout the weekend.
"(Evgeny) Grachev felt like he just wasn’t fitting in with our system and (requested a trade). We liked him, but we just think the person we got (Steven Fogarty) is going to be able to respond a little bit quicker. I had shopped Grachev around for over a year and really the only team that seemed to have a lot of interest in him was St. Louis. It was better to move him for a good prospect than hang on to him and if he had a poor year this year there probably wasn’t going to be a lot of value."
UPDATE #2 – Blueshirts United have posted some great quotes from Fogarty discussing his thoughts on being drafted by the Rangers today;
"This is exciting, for sure, being it’s my hometown. I didn’t see myself being drafted this high, but it’s certainly exciting to be drafted by a great team like New York. And it’s awesome (to be in same organization as Marian Gaborik) because he is someone I definitely idolized growing up right here in Minnesota. To possibly have the chance to play with him down the road is really exciting.I think my skills and my hockey sense for the game are my strengths. Skating is something I need to work on, so I try to use my intelligence and hockey sense and skills to benefit me out there and to help my team."