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Day 2 of draft, Lias dealt, Rangers bring in grit & upside, Strome gets QO

October 7, 2020, 11:32 PM ET [162 Comments]
Jan Levine
New York Rangers Blogger • RSSArchiveCONTACT
The Rangers completed their 2020 draft by making seven selections on Day 2. New York parted with the former seventh overall pick in the 2017 draft to move back into the second round and dealt a pair of seventh rounders to obtain a fifth round selection. While it's impossible to accurately grade a draft for 4-5 years, I liked the team's fourth and loved the pair of fifth round picks, was okay with their second rounder, though think he could have gone later, believe the third rounder has upside and time will tell on their last two choices. In addition, the Blueshirts, like many, passed on players who I thought would have been excellent picks when New York drafted.

New York clearly targeted early on players that were more North-South rather than East-West. The team seemed to focus on skaters who were difficult to play against and brought some bite and grit on the ice. The Rangers took their obligatory goalie, this one coming in the fourth round, and added a second netminder in the seventh. In the later rounds, the Blueshirts took some chances on players who dropped from where many projected them to go, adding value.

Overall, and yes, I know this is a ridiculous exercise, I gave the team a B+, maybe an A-. Obviously, Alexis Lafreniere is the goal standard and really liked the selection of Braden Schneider. Trading Lias Anderson to LA, where his father is a member of the organization, is moving on from a mistake, both in terms of where the player was picked, how he was utilized and the relationships within the organization. A failure on many levels and a separation between the two parties, despite a thawing of the coolness that existed was needed. Will Cuyelle says he patterns his game after Tom Wilson. If he can bring the physical component coupled with the offensive skill minus the baggage that comes with Wilson, New York made a value pick at number 60.

In the third round, Oliver Tarnstrom has the pedigree of coming from a former NHLer. Others were available there who might have been a better selection, but upside potential exists. Dylan Garland was a top goalie in the NHL, despite being slightly undersized. But he possesses the skill set and quickness to advance up the ranks and have a shot at the parent level. The fifth round had my two favorite picks in Evan Vierling and Brett Berard. Both were ranked much higher than 127 and 134, so NY got excellent value selecting each there. Vierling took over after coming to Barrie while Berard is highly skilled. Matt Rempe's back story, see the column on him from the Athletic (see below), has to akke you root for him. At 6-8 ironically, he has an uphill battle to advance, but the gains he made this season gives you hope that maybe the team got a diamond in the rough. Hugo Olias is a huge goalie, that's about most that can be said about him.

Here are a few tweets about each selection:

Cuylle,who we found out is a huge Star Wars fan, plays a very physical game, sometimes, over the edge

Chris Peters, ESPN
A big power-forward type with solid north-south speed, Cuylle tends to play the game in straight lines, using his strength to create space for himself. He's able to physically impose himself on opposing teams at the junior level, but I want to see a bit more in terms of skill and offensive awareness to help maximize the physical tools he clearly possesses.

Tarnstrom - not just a product of his pedigree, playmaker who could be a 3C, maybe more

Garrard - satisfies the goalie pick quotient and the some given the upside potential

Vierling - play-making center with good speed and first-step quickness, who excels working the puck down low

Berard - sounds like a kid with a high motor, who is a bit undersized but plays with a chip on his shoulder.

Kempe - huge at 6-8, made significant strides this season. Mild surprise pick:

In parent club news:
Ryan Strome was given a qualifying offer but sounds like GM Jeff Gorton was hoping to have moved him or found another option. Evidence of this is that Strome didn't receive the QO until about 3:20, an hour and 40 minutes before the deadline. Fairly clear indication that the team was exploring other options and viewed this as a fall back one. No guarantee he stays or leaves, but gives the team time to continue to explore options. If a palatable contacts exists, that is an option, seeing what Max Domi just received from Columbus after that trade. Doing so would fit the 2c spot for New York, allowing the team to focus on a #1 LD and bolstering the bottom-six.

Seems like time to say goodbye to Quickie. But if he goes for three years at between $2.5-$2.75 mil, I am going to be apoplectic.

Fox or ADA to their off-side? I agree with exploring this possibility. ADA, if he remains with the team, especially since Vegas may have interest if they are unable to land Alex Pietrangelo, seems like a better bet to me since he has played the left side before. Fox should stick with Lindgren, see how effective that pair was last season. All of this depends on what New York does in free agency or on the trade market.

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