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08-12-2012, 10:40 AM
RangerBoy's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: New York
Country: United States
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Grant Sonier felt Brady Skjei will be NHL ready after 1 season of college hockey

One season away
Alex Galchenyuk, Montreal Canadiens
Morgan Rielly, Toronto Maple Leafs
Mathew Dumba, Minnesota Wild
Filip Forsberg, Washington Capitals
Cody Ceci, Ottawa Senators
Teuvo Teravainen, Chicago Blackhawks
Zemgus Girgensons, Buffalo Sabres
Brendan Gaunce, Vancouver Canucks
Brady Skjei, New York Rangers

This group of nine players features some excellent picks who should be ready to play in the NHL after another year of development.

Both Galchenyuk and Rielly are coming off major knee injuries this past season and will need another year in junior hockey to re-establish their dominance and get back to full speed. Forsberg, Dumba, Ceci, Girgensons, Gaunce and Skjei are all physically ready and will be close next season, but other factors should keep them out of the NHL this fall.

Forsberg is heading back to Sweden to fulfill the final year of his contract there, and Skjei faces a very long list of defensemen ahead of him in New York -- unless a trade thins things out a bit. For the others, I believe it will simply take some time for roster spots to be made available. The Blackhawks are thrilled to have super skilled forward Teravainen, but he is the least developed of this group in terms of physical maturity.

However, his evasiveness and ability to avoid getting hit -- like that of Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Patrick Kane, who play a similar style -- should help him to reach the NHL a little earlier than expected.

Including Erixon in the Nash deal frees up a spot on the depth chart.

Blog Projection: No. 18 -- Chicago
Sonier's Top 50 Ranking: No. 19

Grant Sonier's Breakdown

Tremendous size and skating are the hallmarks of his game. He's got natural overall ability. He's the type of player who, the more I watch, the more I like him. He helped lead the USNTDP to its fourth straight gold medal and proved to be one of the leaders on that team.

This is the second time the Rangers have dipped into the USNTDP in the past two first rounds, having selected J.T. Miller in 2011.

The Blueshirts have some prospect depth on the blue line now, perhaps giving them a little trade ammunition for that scoring forward this summer.

Kyle Woodlief chat

12:19 Comment From Craig
Which projected late round first rounder is most NHL ready? Do you think there's any goaltender worth being drafted in the 1st round this year?

12:22 Sorry - had some technical difficulties, but I'm back on-line now.
As I said above, Andrei Vasilevski is definitely worthy of a first round selection, but you'd have to be relatively certain that you can get him over from Russia. As for late first rounders who would be close to being NHL ready, I don't think there are any this year, but if I were forced to choose one, I'd say Brady Skjei, because he plays such a simple, defence first game and is physically mature.

28. New York Rangers: D Brady Skjei. Strong shutdown defender with fine skating ability and decent puck skills. Makes crisp breakouts and can also skate the puck out of danger. He has grown much bigger and stronger over the past year.

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