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08-01-2012, 02:21 PM
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Beacon
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Join Date: May 2007
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Rangers Long-Term Depth and Needs

Obviously teams change a lot over the course of 3-4 years, but it's still worth it to look at where the team stands going forward to know what the needs are. This is what I came up with as far as where we are projected to be in 3-4 years.


CENTERS

Established: Derek Stepan, Brad Richards, Brian Boyle.
Need: A single 3rd liner.
Prospects: St. Croix, Lindberg, Nieves, Fogarty.
Outlook: We should be in good shape. At least one of our prospects should give us that top-9 center we need.


LEFT WINGS

Established: Rick Nash
Rookies: Carl Hagelin, Chris Kreider
Needs: A 4th liner.
Prospects: Andrew Yogan, Marek Hrivik.
Outlook: No problem here if our rookies continue to improve instead of going bust. If Hagelin and Kreider perform, we are in great shape.


RIGHT WINGS

Established: Callahan
Needs: A 1st liner and two guys in the bottom-6.
Prospects: J.T. Miller, Thomas, Fast, MColgan.
Outlook: Not great. We might produce one top-6 and one bottom-6 player from this bunch, though even that is a risk when dealing with prospects. When/if Gabby leaves, we will be in trouble on the RW. And we don't even have a first rounder next year to get a good RW prospect (not complaining about the Nash trade, just stating a fact).


DEFENSE

Established: McDonagh, Staal, Del Zotto, Girardi.
Risk: Sauer due to injury
Need: At least one, maybe 2 blueliners.
Prospects: McIlrath, Skjei plus lesser prospects Noreau, Andersson and Ceresnak.
Outlook: McIlrath will make it, just depends on whether he'll be a #6 or a #2 defenseman. I think one of Skjei, Noreau, Anderson or Ceresnak makes it as well, though there is no guarantee of this. (A guy drafted in Skjei's position statistically has only about a 1/3 chance of playing in the NHL. Let's see his improvement before we proclaim him to be a sure-fire NHLer. There must be a reason 27 teams passed on him.)

Our blueline depth isn't nearly what we thought it would be. There's a reason they say that you can never have too many defensemen. Many of the blueliners that we pumped up here turned into nothing: Sanguinetti, Gilroy, Valentenko, Kundratek, Heineken, Pashnin, Parlett, Niemi, Nigel Williams. Other prospects like Maggio, Klassen, Baldwin also went into the black hole of memory. Corey Potter left. Tim Erixon was traded. Mike Sauer is an injury question mark.

Considering how many blueline prospects are needed to produce just one top-4 defenseman, we should keep drafting them at an increased pace, maybe 3-4 kids per draft.

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