There wasn’t much action on the Rangers end during day two of the draft. In fact, there wasn’t much action at all. The Blueshirts entered the day with Brady Skjei in the fold, and picks in the 2nd (#59), 3rd (#89), and 4th (#119) rounds. They left the day with three picks, but not necessarily in that order.
The Rangers made two trades today, both with Nashville. First up was a swap of 3rd round picks, with Nashville getting the Rangers’ 2012 pick in exchange for their 2013 pick. The second trade was a similar swap of 5th round picks, but with the Rangers getting Nashville’s 2012 pick in exchange for their 2013 pick.
For analysis of each pick and trade, let’s go round by round:
Second round (#59) – Cristoval “Boo” Nieves (C, Kent High School – Connecticut)
Nieves was originally projected to go in the late first or early second round. Luckily for the Rangers, he fell to #59 and Gordie Clark, Glen Sather, and Jeff Gorton were more than happy to scoop him up. Committed to play at the University of Michigan next year, Nieves is a bit of a project pick with high upside. Nieves is a tremendous skater with great hockey IQ and a good head on his shoulders. His skill level matches his skating and hockey sense, and Nieves has the potential to be a steal.
Standing at 6’3″ and 184 lbs, Boo has some room to grow, and will need to increase his strength to be successful at the next level. Luckily, strength is one area that is easy to improve upon. Nieves is at least three years of NCAA hockey away from making an impact on the organization.
Third round (#89) – Traded to Nashville for a 2013 third round pick
There was a lot of debate about this trade, but the premise is fairly simple, the Rangers were eying one particular player, and taking that player in the 3rd round is over-drafting him, especially when he will likely fall to the Rangers in the next round. So GM Glen Sather made a choice to get an asset for what was essentially a useless pick for the club. Plus, Nashville will likely draft ahead of #89 in the draft next year, so the Rangers may have “moved up” so to say.
Fourth round (#119) – Calle Andersson (D, Farjestad – SWE jr.)
Andersson was a top-20 ranked European skater, so grabbing him in the fourth round is great value for the Rangers. There’s not much on him other than stats, which show Andersson is more of an offensive defenseman, and put up a line of 12-24-36 in 49 games with Farjestad jr. last season. At 6’2″ and 208 lbs, Andersson is a big kid as well.
He is sometimes dubbed as “the powerplay general,” which should give you an insight as to his offensive potential. Obviously the kid needs to show he can do this at the SEL level, and not just at the Junior level. This is another project pick, but has high potential for offensive success.
Fifth round (#142) – Thomas Spelling (RW, Denmark) – Acquired from Nashville for a 2013 fifth round pick
This trade is very similar to the swap of third round picks. The Rangers liked Spelling, and saw an opportunity to grab him.
As for Spelling, there’s not much on him. His stats look pretty, at over a point per game pace with Herning in the Danish leagues (21-16-37 in 33 games). He is 6’1″ and 176 lbs, so there’s room for strength improvement. That’s all that I could really find on him.