Entering the day, the Rangers had a few picks. It was announced by the NHL’s Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly that the New York Rangers traded pick #91 and a seventh-round draft pick in 2024 for pick #90. We can argue about the value of this deal and whether or not it was worth a seventh-round pick to move up one spot, but the Rangers used pick #90 to take a defenseman from the US Development Program.
Drew Fortescue was the big defenseman and at 6’2, 175 lbs, you can see why they wanted a man of his stature. This gigantic blueliner tallied one goal and 25 assists for 26 points in 62 games in the development program with five assists in the USHL. While this isn’t awful production, this is not the kind of numbers you’d want from a third-round pick, but that doesn’t seem to matter to this management core as they liked this player.
Fortescue is committed to Boston College next year, but the Pearl River native is a local boy and that should be great for attracting new fans and young kids into the sport. He fills a need in a prospect pool that was perhaps a little shallow on the backend. Left-handed defenseman for the third pair is something that will be on the shopping list for Chris Drury, but this is not the answer to that issue.
It’s going to be a few years before we see Fortescue in the NHL. It’s going to be at least 2 years I would imagine so Fortescue has time to grow and put on some more muscle before he is asked to defend against some of the best players in the world, but he’s got the tools to do it. He will be with Boston College for the upcoming season if any of you want to follow along with his development in the NCAA.