The Rangers clearly shunned their planned strategy as they loaded up BPA-style with wingers and centers at the 2021 BEARD Hockey Entry Draft.
Despite the Rangers Draft Primer the Rangers clearly drafted the best player available as they loaded up with wingers and centers despite those positions being clear areas of strength at the 2021 BEARD Hockey Entry Draft.
Here is a look at the players they selected:
#7 First Round – Dylan Guenther RW
Guenther is a dynamic offensive player with excellent puck skills, play-making and a lethal shot. While he can snipe he can also create for his teammates in a variety of ways. He uses his fantastic skating to play a 200 foot game which really differentiates him from some of the other offensively minded players in this draft. In summary: A dynamic offensive player with a mature two way game that could find his way to the NHL quickly.
#18 First Round – Fedor Svechkov C
Svechkov, like Guenther has a well rounded 200 foot game and fits the mold of the other quality prospects at the center position in Mercer and Zary. He is not flashy in that he won’t go end to end but he shows excellent creativity and vision creating for himself and teammates.
#27 First Round – Xavier Bourgault C
Bourgault is absolutely electric in the offensive zone scoring 20 goals and 20 assists in the QMJHL in 29 games. He has a full offensive arsenal of puck skills, creativity, vision and finishing. The only thing holding him back is focusing on his own end and learning the defensive responsibilities needed for the center position. He could move to the wing in the NHL.
#63 Second Round – Matthew Knies LW
Knies is a power forward that wreaks havoc in the offensive zone. What sets him apart from other hulking forwards is his skating with excellent straight line speed, acceleration, and edge work. He has good hands and can creativity and a lethal shot.
#135 Fifth Round – Vladislav Lukashevich D
Lukashevich is has a high mature defensive game. He is an excellent skater with high end four way agility and a smooth stride with good technique that should make him a fantastic skater at the pro level as he adds more power. He has shown flashes of offense will good poise and play making which should continue to develop as he gains more confidence playing against men in Russia before making the jump to North America.
When asked about the draft, GM McAndrews had this to say: “We are very happy with the players we’ve added here. Guenther has a real shot at being the best player selected in this draft and the other two centers we selected in the first have elite skillsets as well. Adding Knies in the second round was an absolute steal for us as we had him pegged in the late first. He has the size, skating, and shot of Chris Kreider. Obviously he has a long way to go to meet that potential but we really like him.
"Our final pick also in Lukashevich already has the look of an NHL skillset and just needs to continue to build on what is already there and fill out his solid frame.”
When asked about not drafting for a position of need in goaltender McAndrews responded, “We really liked the two guys drafted in the 1st but at 7 we had to take Guenther. We were hoping one of the goalies might last until #18 but we knew it was a long shot and we were really happy with the kid we got there.
"You never know how the future unfolds with trades and development so we really do focus on the best player available with the most potential. Besides when you look at our pipeline Connor Ingram is going to make a really hard push for the pro roster in the very near future and Dustin Wolf is one of the best goalie prospects out there after winning consecutive CHL Goalie of the Year awards.
"While there are no sure things in goalie prospects we feel good about the couple we have there.”
Unrelated to the draft, McAndrews was asked to discuss the big trade for Roman Josi.
“Obviously we were ecstatic to add a player of Roman’s quality and character. We think it makes our top 4 amongst the best in the league with Josi, Doughty, Hronek and Sergachev while it allows some of our young guys to play a little more sheltered minutes in the NHL or chew up big minutes in the minors.”
When asked about pairings McAndrews said training camp will likely decide how things shake out but they roughly have Josi/Sergachev, Doughty/Hronek, Fleury/Boqvist but Dobson, Soderstrom, and Broberg could all factor in at some point during the year.
All in all the quality of the picks made, including having 3 first rounds, has to make this a very successful draft for the Rangers. Now they will turn to developing these players and getting them used to the other players in the Rangers system. All are expected to be invited to the upcoming Rangers rookie camp.