We know the Rangers only had four picks in the 2012 NHL draft but the more you read across the internet-hockey-universe the more it seems the Rangers keep getting it right.
How much stock you place in the Hockey News is entirely up to you (some of their writers enjoy sensationalising at times) but going by the recent International scouting service (ISS) head’s column on their website it may appear the Rangers grabbed another draft steal with Calle Andersson’s selection in the fourth round.
Most people (myself included) know little of Andersson despite his solid year in Swedish juniors. What we do know is that he is known to be a potential powerplay quarterback with great size and solid ability and according to the above linked column has outperformed more highly touted draft picks including first rounder’s such as Hampus Lindholm who was drafted sixth overall by the Ducks this year.
Whether Lindholm at six was a reach or not, there is significant difference in value between a lottery pick and a guy going around the 100 mark if they are at similar stages in their performance. Add Cristoval (I hate his nickname) Nieves to the apparent steal that Andersson may become and the Rangers really have done well – going by reports.
Nieves was compared to Hugh Jessiman by Bob McKenzie of TSN but only – as he later pointed out – in regard to his tremendous physical potential and apparent ability. Whether the Rangers picks max out their potential is still far from a guarantee but it’s the continuing ability of the Rangers to draft what seems good value that has the organisation in an enviable position going forward.
One of the reasons a club like Detroit has remained a contender long term has been their ability to draft well later in drafts. These days the Rangers do this consistently as well. Nieves for example was the 27th ranked North American skater yet was grabbed 59th overall. It could be another steal and we all know of the Rangers recent ability to find quality in round two.
Credit must be given to Gordie Clark and the Rangers not to feel the need to add a pick for the sake of it (given four is a small number for any draft year) and concentrate on finding value and potential steals. It’s not necessarily the quantity but above all the quality that matters down the road.