Ryan McDonagh-Kevin Shattenkirk
Brady Skjei-Brendan Smith
Marc Staal-Neal Pionk
Look, nothing would make me happier than to remove Marc Staal from the group, but I cannot see the Rangers ridding themselves of Dan Girardi and Marc Staal in one offseason.
Dan Girardi will be bought out, Kevin Shattenkirk will be signed to a far too lucrative deal (though we will rightfully celebrate at the time anyway) and Neal Pionk will start the season as the sixth defenseman.
I’m going out on a limb here and saying the Las Vegas Golden Knights select Nick Holden with zero bribery involved.
Nick Holden is a horrendous defenseman, but other organizations do not know that. The Golden Knights will need defensemen far more than goaltending, and the prediction here is the Rangers find a way to protect Michael Grabner. That leaves Oscar Lindberg and Nick Holden, and I do not trust NHL General Managers to recognize future talent vs. present talent. Thus, Holden goes to Vegas, the Rangers need a defenseman, Smith is brought back.
Oh, and Kevin Klein is buried in the AHL or traded for popcorn to another team. I don’t believe Alain Vigneault knows who Adam Clendening is.
Do I have confidence in these picks? As much confidence as I have in Marc Staal to have a bounce back season.