NY Rangers got it right by adding EJ Emery to the prospect pool

The NY Rangers took full advantage of the good situation they were in by finding a top-tier talent with the No. 30 pick in EJ Emery.
2024 Upper Deck NHL Draft - First Round
2024 Upper Deck NHL Draft - First Round / Bruce Bennett/GettyImages

Sometimes, we may find ourselves groaning at the fact our team picked a prospect who may not be the best points-producer out there, and you can say that about the NY Rangers first-round pick, EJ Emery

In 88 games last season, Emery finished the year with no goals and 22 points, and he also had six points and zero goals in seven games at the World Juniors. But this supposed lack of productivity shouldn’t define Emery, as, in case you haven’t noticed, the Rangers already have enough scorers now, and their prospect pool has quite a few successors to those scorers. 

In other words, general manager Chris Drury didn’t need to add another one, but what he needed was a defenseman whose presence would be in the defensive zone every time they skate onto the ice. And that’s what defines Emery, someone who will give those scorers more opportunities when he’s playing in New York once his days at North Dakota come to an end. 

NY Rangers made the correct pick with EJ Emery last night

He will crush opposing sequences and kill penalties without needing to be the most productive player in the offensive zone. So, while there were some good scorers who would have made nice picks at 30th overall and picks I still would have praised, EJ Emery was the necessary pick, and he will prove that to fans in time. 

He’s got a 6’3, 185-pound frame that still needs fine-tuning, but for a player his size, Emery can skate, and that speed, mobility, and coordination will only get better throughout his college days. That said, the Rangers will be getting a defenseman who will eventually join players like Adam Fox, K’Andre Miller, and perhaps even Zachary Jones in New York, helping to solidify what will be a sound defensive rotation. 


(Statistics powered by Elite Prospects)