The New York Rangers made the playoffs this season, but the first round showed they still have a ways to go to be competitive in the post season. They have the goaltender in place, and a youthful core that could use some upgrades. Some minor league callups performed well during the season, which bodes well for the depth of the system. This will be an interesting pick, as I noted yesterday in my preview, as the Rangers could go in a multitude of directions.
Selecting on behalf of the Rangers is Adam, Lead Writer of Blue Line Station.
The New York Rangers select Mark McNeill (Centre) from the Prince Alberta Raiders of the WHL.
Jared’s Analysis – Nothing will surprise me at this point in the draft, and this pick is no exception. McNeill is a skilled centre who has top line potential. He put up more than a point per game on a mediocre Prince Albert team, and he can also be counted on in his own end. Maybe a couple of years away, but will likely play on a second line.
Adam, lead writer from Blue Line Station explains his selection:
While the Rangers usually ignore position in the first round and simply target the best player available, the best remaining players are so close that it’s worth adding a center, which our prospect pool has almost none of. McNeill would also add some much needed size to our prospect pool and is the kind of player that would absolutely thrive under John Tortorella. Finally, he is known for his playmaking, which is something the Rangers currently don’t have much of at any level.
I encourage fans and followers of the Rangers to check out further information on the club and this pick in particular at Blue Line Station.
HAVE YOUR SAY
Here are the Mock Draft results so far (click on the team name to go to the post about that pick):
|4||NEW JERSEY||Jonathan Huberdeau|
|5||NY ISLANDERS||Sean Couturier|
|9||BOSTON (FR TOR)||Duncan Siemens|
|15||NY RANGERS||Mark McNeill|
Now on the clock for the #16 selection, on behalf of the Buffalo Sabres, is Sabre Noise.
PREVIEWING THE SABRES
2010-2011 Record: 43-29-10 (9th Overall)
Goals for: 16th
Goals Against: 17th
Power Play: 9th
Penalty Kill: 13th
TOP 5 Prospects in the system: Zack Kassian (RW), Jhonas Enroth (G), Luke Adam (C), Drew Schiestel (D), TJ Brennan (D)
NEEDS: The Sabres 17th place ranking in goals allowed is surprising considering they have one of the top goaltenders in the league. Also surprising is the offensive standing, as in past seasons they have relied on goaltending to get by. If they can put both elements together in the same season the Sabres could be dangerous. Perhaps the problem was that Ryan Miller played too much hockey behind a young defense. Fortunately, they have one of the league’s top goaltending prospects in Jhonas Enroth, who will be able to take some of the pressure off. Needs-wise, another centre can never hurt, as the Sabres can’t be sure what they will get from injury prone Tim Connolly from year to year. A big player with skill would be the best option, as many small skilled players dot the Sabres roster.
TOP 5 PLAYERS ON THE BOARD (per ISS):
1. Oscar Klefbom, D, Farjestad (SWE ELITE)
2. Rocco Grimaldi, C, USA Under-18 (USHL)
3. JT Miller, LW, USA Under-18 (USHL)
4. Mark Scheifele, C, Barrie (OHL)
5. Connor Murphy, D, USA Under-18 (USHL)
Check back on TOO MANY MEN ON THE SITE tomorrow evening to see who “Blueline Station” chooses to take for the New York Rangers, as the Fansided mock draft continues!