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Rangers draft grade, Development Camp, some thoughts on Patrick Kane

July 10, 2022, 10:39 AM ET [193 Comments]
Jan Levine
New York Rangers Blogger • RSSArchiveCONTACT
The Rangers, bolstered by the two extra picks acquired from Colorado in the Alexandar Georgiev trade, made six selections in the draft. New York's first pick was 63rd overall and there was a clear pattern to what they targeted. I am not fully onboard with the strategy but it aligns to the coach and structure that he wants to play.

New York made it a point to get players who skate with an edge and are more north-south than east-west players. That style of play is a Gerard Gallant hallmark, making targeting that type of skater not surprising. But given what we have seen in the past in terms of the lifespan of a coach,especially with Gallant, I would have preferred going after players who have a bit more creativity to their game who also can play with an edge. 

My overall view is that it was C+ type of draft. No real home runs, at least on paper, but I really like the first two picks and like the upside of Maxim Barbashev, especially if his game grows as his brother's did. Adam Sykora, taken at 63, looks to be the type of player who has some upside, but likes to get dirty, especially since he models game after Brad Marchand. Bryce McConnell-Barker was someone considered at 63, especially after Jack Hughes and David Goyette went before that selection, who was an excellent add at the 97th selection. The other picks continued a trend of taking overage, college players and centers, which is not how I might have played out the selections. But with John Lilley now running the show, they have a clear direction and style they prefer.

On Patrick Kane. I will write a lot more in a week, because at that time, the first blush of free agency will be done and we will have a better sense of what New York has done and the cap space remaining. The Patrik Nemeth situation needs to be determined first, same with if Andrew Copp oir Ryan Strome are re-signed or a trade is made for Mark Scheifele or Dylan Strome. In addition, the concern over a possible offer sheet for Kakko Kaapo is real, which if that happens and they don't match, bringing in someone like Kane and his salary becomes more real. In full disclosure, I would love Kane in New York. Does he completely fit what they need, no, not likely. But he is a big time player, especially in the playoffs and makes the team harder to face, plus would allow for a cheaper option at 2c, since Kane can carry the puck and doesn't need a pivot to constantly set him up. More to come.

Rangers Development Camp:

New York announced the list above today. I want to see the growth in Will Cuylle, Brennan Othmann and Ryder Korzcak. Bobby Trivigno will be one to watch, especially after the year he had last season. Curious to see if Brett Berard and Brody Lamb took steps forward. A few of this year's selections will be there as well. Matthew Robertson should stand out, same with Hunter Skinner. In net, we get an up close and personal look at Olof Lindblom, who should benefit from working with Benoit Allaire, same with Dylan Garand. New York needs a skating coach, which should be a major priority for the organization.

Rangers draft class:

Adam Sykora at 63

Bryce McConnell-Barker at 97


Noah Laba at 111

Vittorio Mancini at 159

Maxim Barbashev at 161

Zakary Karpa at 197

Scott Wheeler from the Athletic:

19. New York Rangers
Day 1 rank: N/A (no picks)

If you split the Rangers’ day in half, I’d have two very different opinions about it. So the final result is a bit of a mixed bag.

Soo’s Bryce McConnell-Barker (No. 57 on my board, drafted No. 97) looked better whenever I watched him this year than his 54 points in 78 combined regular-season and playoff games might suggest at a glance. He was a top prospect in the 2004 age group growing up and he often looks the part, with a dangerous, natural wrist shot (that he was owed a few more goals out of), above-average hands and processing, and the right instincts all over the ice. He’s also a June birthday. I expect him to break out in a more prominent role next season.

Slovak riser Adam Sykora plays determined with a knack for getting to loose pucks and making the most of his opportunities. I’ve seen him cut into a couple of his own looks on one shift, and work to play catch-up off the puck to get to a hole in coverage or pounce on a rebound on the next. Despite being smallish (he’s actually well built and strong for his size) and not particularly physical, his sticktoitiveness and overall skill level allowed him to play as a complementary winger against men this season. I suspect his small-area game will fit in even better on North American ice, too, and the Medicine Hat Tigers used the first pick in this year’s CHL Import Draft on him, so that looks likely.

There was some off-the-board overthinking that happened with three of their next four picks though, with sturdy Moncton winger Maxim Barbashev (who is still a long shot) as the lone exception.

2021 draft grades:
Day 1: No. 16 (overtime losers)
Day 2: No. 29 (losers)

Corey Pronman of the Athletic
New York Rangers: B-

The Rangers didn’t have many high picks but the few they had I liked what they did. I think both Adam Sykora and Bryce McConell-Barker have legit chances to become NHL players, even if likely at the bottom of a lineup.

Chris Peters of Flo hockey:
New York Rangers
Grade: C+

First rounders: None

Day 2 picks: Adam Sykora, C/W; Bryce McConnell-Barker, C; Noah Laba, C; Victor Mancini, D; Maxim Barbashev, LW; Zakary Karpa, C

Analysis: With no picks until 63rd overall, the Rangers still picked up two of my Top 100 players. Adam Sykora is the prize of the class as I think he really showcased his growth over the last season, culminating with his inclusion on the Slovakian national team at the World Championship. He’s going to need more time to grow, but he has speed and tenacity. McConnell-Barker was a player that had some high-pick buzz going into the season, but just hasn’t lived up to that quite yet and maybe needs some help developmentally. Victor Mancini is a real wild card pick, but he’s got size and some skating ability to build off of. Maxim Barbashev was a prospect that left me wanting more so often this year, but you can see the tools. It’s a decent class, but without any high picks, there wasn’t much they could have done to improve their grade significantly.

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