First things first: this is a wish list for players that are realistic targets with the 28th overall pick. Of course I’d prefer Nail Yakupov to anyone on this list, but he’s not coming to New York. Second of all, while these are players that have caught my eye, it will be tough to question any pick the Blueshirts make on Friday night. Gordie Clark and the Rangers’ scouting staff have been terrific in recent years, so I’ll be on board with just about any selection they make. But if it were me running the team, these are five guys I’d target:
I’m a sucker for a good combination of speed and skill. I’m an even bigger fan of that package when it’s attached to a 6’0”, 183-pound frame. Bozon’s Swiss/French background is certainly unusual, but it doesn’t mean he’s not a great prospect. Bozon is one of the better goal-scorers in the draft and the Blueshirts could use more of that in the pipeline.
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One position the Rangers might like to improve on is their wing depth, specifically in the form of power forwards. New York boasts a handful of gnat-sized forwards that possess bundles of talent, but could struggle to match up against bigger NHL players. There are a few players that could be available at pick #28 that bring size and skill and may catch the Rangers’ eyes.
Just a reminder, all 2012 draft prospect reviews can be found on our Draft Coverage page.
Position: RW Height: 6’4″ Weight: 200
The book on J.T. Miller’s Plymouth teammate is pretty simply: scouts are pretty much unanimously convinced that he’ll make it to the NHL, the question is whether he’ll be a bottom-six role player, or a stud power forward. Wilson’s physical game is tremendous, he’s one of the most ferocious hitters available in the draft and he has a fairly well rounded game. He’s battled through some serious adversity in coming back from various injuries over the last couple of seasons. The big question lies in his offensive game. Wilson only produced sparingly for Plymouth, just 33 points in 77 games over the last two seasons. He cranked it up during the playoffs this year, when he posted seven goals and six assists in 13 playoff games. However, there’s simply not enough evidence that he has the tools to be a big scorer at the NHL level. A fitness freak, Wilson is a relatively safe pick in that he’s extremely likely to help a team in some fashion, there’s just huge debate over whether he can produce enough to justify a first-round pick. There seem to be teams that are convinced that Wilson will mature offensively, making it less likely that he’ll be available at pick #28, but he could be the type of high-risk, high-reward pick that makes sense for New York this year.
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