A little while ago we looked at the first batch of potential Rangers draft picks in the upcoming 2012 NHL draft. With the Rangers assured of a playoff spot we know they’ll be drafting in the latter half of the first round and, hopefully, right at the end of the round thanks to the deepest of playoff runs and a Cup.
Don’t forget: As we look at potential Rangers targets we’ll consider a realistic drafting position and players likely to fall around where the Rangers are likely to pick. At this stage the Rangers are looking at drafting between 25-30th. Let’s take another look at some potential picks
Position: D Height: 6’1″ Weight: 180
The Rangers have had success drafting players destined for college in recent years and should they feel the need to draft another defenseman they may head that route once more with Matheson. With the USHL standout headed to Boston College (Kreider) the Rangers know he’ll be in good hands. Beyond Mike Del Zotto the Rangers have a dearth of offensive defenseman in the organisation (even Erixon is more of a two way player) so if they feel the need to add another potential PP solution Matheson should be there in the last parts of the first round.
Matheson has 22 points and 9 goals and is considered to love the physical side of the game while a good skater. Where he ends up in the draft varies wildly so he could be another ‘off the radar’ pick.
Position: LW Height: 6’2″ Weight: 185
The Rangers have been one of the few NHL teams not put off by the threat of the KHL and drafting Russian prospects in recent years as the likes Cherepanov and Grachev proved. Slepyshev is a left winger with solid size and skill and at just 17 is already taking a regular shift in the KHL (a rarity for youngster who normally has to pay their dues in Russia). Slepyshev has played 39 games this year grabbing 7 points for Metallurg.
The kid can score clutch goals and knows where to be on the ice to score goals using his impressive shot. He went first overall in the KHL draft in 2011 which may impact access to North America; would the Russian league want to lose their first overall pick to the NHL? Is the winger ‘only’ a marginal first round candidate due to the threat of the KHL? He could be another late round steal.
Position: C Height: 6’1″ Weight: 185
Normally there would be no chance a player of Galchenyuk’s talent falling to the Rangers who will be drafting pretty late in the first. Just like there was no chance Alexei Cherepanov wouldn’t fall to them or how Mike Del Zotto wouldn’t last as long he did. These things happen. The Brady Quinn free fall…
Thanks to injury Galchenyuk has played but a two games this year in Sarnia looking rusty in the process (to be expected) and that’s basically the reason some draft boards have him in the middle of the first round. 83 points as an OHL rookie a year earlier had him earmarked as a lottery pick. The American born Russian has supreme skills and should he somehow last to the middle of the round he’d be worth trading up for.
With Sarnia in the OHL playoffs Galchenyuk could help them upset some of the higher seeds and vault back up the draft or should his rustiness remain he could slip closer to the Rangers. He’d be a huge windfall late in the first round. Sarnia is blessed with top end skill as potential top pick Nail Yakupov, Ryan Spooner and Connor Murphy prove so Sarnia could make noise in the playoffs. Will Galchenyuk stand out or be forgotten amongst all the talent? His draft status depends on it.
Next week we’ll look at another three potential Rangers draftees.