New York Rangers: Who should they pick in the first round of the draft?

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Filip Chytil of the New York Rangers (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

With the future of this NHL season in doubt it’s not too early to look ahead to the NHL Entry Draft and some possible future New York Rangers

On Wednesday, the NHL announced that the draft, combine, and awards show scheduled for June in Montreal would be postponed, another example of how the sports world continues to be affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. It’s only one small bit of collateral damage from a much-larger crisis, but since hockey fans have some time on their hands, we can take a peek ahead at players the New York Rangers might (or should) be targeting in the draft.

Picks gained and lost

The Blueshirts don’t have a second round pick (it was traded to the Hurricanes as part of the Adam Fox deal) though they do have a pair in the third round. Most selections after Round Two are a crapshoot and the Rangers can’t count on them to stick in the NHL, though there are a few notable exceptions from the last decade: Pavel Buchnevich third round -2013, Igor Shesterkin  fourth – 2014, and Jesper Fast sixth – 2010.

So, we’ll concentrate on the Rangers’ two first rounders. The team’s biggest needs are a true second line center and someone who can win faceoffs. It would be a huge boost to the tream if they could find a player who meets both requirements.

New York’s extra pick is also thanks to Carolina, which came in exchange for Brady Skjei. The Rangers get the worst of the two picks Carolina owns (their own and Toronto’s).  Technically, since the Canes have a better record than the Maple Leafs, the first rounder would arrive via Carolina, but the final standings are still unclear due to the number of games played by each team. Right now, that means the Rangers would pick 21st or 22nd.

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