A, New York Rangers Ė The Rangers picked a total of seven players and at NACS, there were a few we loved. The selection of Michael Del Zotto was another first round pick the Rangers made that, in a few years, will have people wondering why the kid fell in the draft. At No. 20, the Rangers got a defenseman who has as much offensive skill as any in the draft at his position, including Drew Doughty. Although Del Zottoís defensive game needs work, itís not something he canít learn and improve on. The second round selection of Derek Stepan was interesting because there were a lot of safer picks and in our opinion, more skilled players available. Later, the Rangers took Evgeny Grachev, Tomas Kundratek and Chris Doyle much lower than they should have gone, which bodes well for down the road. New York finished by taking the oft-injured, but a personal favorite, Mitch Gaulton from the Erie Otters. Although Gaulton hasnít played enough for scouts to get a good evaluation on him, trust me when I say there is a reason he was a top five pick in the OHL. Assuming he can stay healthy, Gaulton may be a pleasant surprise for Gotham City.
To me the Stepan pick was the most curious by the Rangers, but after watching him at the development camp i can see why they went for him.
Hes the type of go to the net guy the Rangers love, especially now that thats more of the type of game they want to play.
Looking back at that pick, that might have been a little peek into the future - a little tell that Jagr was gone, or at least they were prepared to move on without him with a plan already in place.
I heard that the scouts were all turned on by him when they went to see the younger Toews play and many had put Stepan higher on their radar than Toews. He was getting very little attention before that, but based upon where Toews went I think Stepan could turn out to be a good pick where he went. Remember they do churn out amazing players from Shattuk and on top of that, he is heading to Wisconsin, where they also have a tendency to churn out excellent talent. I have high hopes for this kid.