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Rangers' 23-and-under prospects ranked fourth per Corey Pronman

September 3, 2021, 8:55 AM ET [63 Comments]
Jan Levine
New York Rangers Blogger • RSSArchiveCONTACT
Corey Pronman completed his rankings of each team's top prospects and under-23 players yesterday. After finishing first last year, the Rangers are ranked fourth this season, largely on the strength of their younger prospects. Notice I did not use the word "rookies," because given the graduations in the past two years of Adam Fox, Ryan Lindgren, Kappo Kaako, Alexis Lafreniere and K'Andre Miller, that player listing is a lot thinner, especially in upper-end talent. The top three this season were Buffalo, Ottawa and Carolina.

Here is the list:

1. Alexis Lafrenière
1. Kaapo Kakko
3. Filip Chytil
4. Nils Lundkvist
5. Braden Schneider
6. Zac Jones
7. K’Andre Miller
8. Brennan Othmann
9. Vitali Kravtsov
10. Morgan Barron

As mentioned above, this list is those 23-and-under, so if you're thinking of pure rookies, take Laf, Kakko, Chytil and Miller off. That means you are also starting with Schneider, Lundqvist or Kravtsov. In place of the four removed, to me, the ones definitely to be added are Matthew Robertson and Will Cuylle, then it becomes preference. Maybe it's Ryder Korczak and Jayden Grubbe. Some may think Lauri Pajuniemi and Tarmo Reunanen belong. A sleeper to move into the top-10 this season is Brett Berard, behind him in the pecking order might be Hunter Skinner. This is a big year for Karl Henriksson, as he needs to take a step forward to regain some of the luster he has lost.

If sticking with those 23 and under, in my view, Kravtsov should be behind the top-three or at worst fifth, and this from someone who is very high on Schneider. To add an additional twist, Scott Wheeler recently ranked his top 50 NHL prospects for skaters in 2021, consisting of players 23 and under who are either not in the league or shifting back and forth between the minors and the NHL. New York only had two on that list, Nils Lundkvist and Zac Jones.

The organization has some work to do to bolster the system. Not picking first or second and the graduation of the rookies impacted that. But as seen by Carolina finishing third, you can find talent later in the first round and obviously in several rounds, which is what the Canes did. New York needs to be better in that regard moving forward.

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