New York Rangers Select Sean Day in the 3rd Round


With the team’s 3rd Round Draft Pick, the New York Rangers Took the Best Player Available.

As fully expected, the Rangers didn’t make a move to climb up from the 81st pick overall in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft.  As most agree, this draft was a weak one after the top 10 to 15 prospects, as many teams went off the board with their draft picks as early as the latter half of the first round.  New York was content to stick with the 6 picks they had –a 3rd rounder, a 4th, a 5th, two 6ths and a 7th.  We all know the bottom four rounds of the draft are always a gamble at best, but it is not beyond the realm of possibility to find a gem in those rounds and with approximately 16+ million in cap space and 29 of a possible 50 players under contract throughout their system, July 1st will be an interesting time for the Broadway Blueshirts.

Sean Day, One of Only 4 OHL Players Granted Exceptional Status

With their 3rd round pick, the New York Rangers took a player who was only one of four players in history granted exceptional status in the OHL alongside NHL Superstars John Tavares, Aaron Ekblad and Connor McDavid.  Born in Leuven, Belgium, he grew into the player he has become by playing minor midget hockey for the fabled Detroit Compuware program and was a fourth overall pick by the Mississauga Steelheads of the OHL.  Curiously he was the only player with the exceptional status that wasn’t selected first overall.  Until his exposure to the OHL competition, Day was not really tested as at the age of 15, he stood 6’3″ and weighed 220 lbs.

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His progression through the OHL was a mix of good and bad. His offensive talent has always been there and progressed as he matured.  But his defensive play has been a red flag for scouts across North America and contributed to his slipping from a top 5 pick in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft to a marginal first round pick to being rated as a “B” prospect.  A great skater with NHL feet and an ability to see the whole ice and a good first pass maker have carried him this far in his career. But at 235 lbs he is not a physical player in any sense of the word and will shy away from moving players in front of the net and confrontations in the corners.

Some Have Suggested The Pressure of Being Granted Exceptional Status Took Its Toll on Day

The simple fact is that Sean Day was rushed in the OHL at the young age of 15 and the extreme pressure of being in the same Exceptional Status as Tavares, Ekblad and McDavid took its toll on Day.  He will have to be brought along slow, but he has huge upside.  He has one more season of eligibility left in the OHL. If he focuses on the defensive side of the game as much as he has on the offensive aspect of the game, he has the potential to be a solid number 3 or 4 defenseman in the future.

Raw Talent, But He Has All the Tools To Be An NHL Defenceman

Sean Day was the best player available to the Rangers with the 81st pick and with a 3rd round pick they still managed to secure a prospect who has a very good shot to be an NHL player someday.

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There is no denying that he has all the tools, and with the proper coaching, his progression will get back on track.  We all acknowledge that skating is the number one asset to have to make the jump to the NHL and Day has the best foot speed and size combination of the defencemen taken in the draft.