The New York Rangers should use the 21st overall pick on Erik Brannstrom, if he is still available. Brannstrom is an incredibly talented defenseman. He has tremendous offensive awareness, great passing skills, and is agile, which allows him to get out of tricky situations.
Brannstrom often uses his skating ability to spread out the defense before he either delivers a crisp tape-to-tape pass to his teammate or sends a hard shot on goal. He also uses his skating ability to carry the puck up the ice to create a zone entry.
Brannstrom’s only real weakness is his size. But that shouldn’t be too much of a concern since he isn’t done growing and since he’s been able to play just fine in a grown men’s league for some time now.
Brannstrom tends to draw comparisons to players like Torey Krug, which seems fair given that they have similar play styles.
He is a left-shot player, which may not fill an immediate need like a right-shot defenseman would. However, it is important to draft the best player available rather than draft a player who fits your needs. Prospects also take several years to develop. In three or four years, who knows what the Rangers will need.
Ultimately, if Brannstrom is still around when the Rangers are on the clock, he is likely one of, if not the, best player available.