Even if the entire season is lost (unlikely), the NHL will still hold it’s 2013 draft. The Rangers first pick will likely draft in the later half of the second round, so it’s extremely likely they won’t be drafting someone who gets a lot of hype. Instead, they will be looking for more of that second round magic that has worked so well.
Looking at the ISS rankings, we need to move away from the top 30 and read more in-depth about the guys they note as risers and fallers. In our first post, we looked at Max Domi and Darnell Nurse. This time, we are looking at some potential sleepers in Tommy Panico and Atte Makinen, along with goaltender Zachary Fucale.
Position: D Height: 6’1″ Weight: 185
Panico, who is committed to UMass-Lowell next season, is someone who HF has highlighted as a potential draft sleeper. HF notes that Panico is a very smooth skater with a very raw skill set. When perusing the UMass-Lowell website, several scouting reports have noted that Panico is a bit of a late bloomer, and that his size, skating ability, and fearlessness are all tools that lead to potentially great players. Panico is someone who might last until the late second round for the Rangers, and sounds like a kid that fits into their mold.
The reason why Panico seems to be a bit off the board is because he was an incredibly late bloomer. Teams generally don’t draft projects this early in the draft. They are very high-risk, high-reward type picks. Panico fits that to a T with his raw skill set.