by Patrick Hoffman on 06/27/10 at 11:40 PM ET
Good evening folks. Now that the NHL Draft is over, I figured I’d weigh in on my thoughts regarding what the Blueshirts did.
First off, the team’s first pick, Dylan McIlrath, caught me off guard. I thought the team was looking for some scoring talent up front and yet, they selected McIlrath. However, after reading what Gordie Clark had to say about the kid, I think this pick may turn out to be exactly what the Rangers need.
As all Ranger fans now, a guy like Michael Del Zotto has a lot of offense in him. If he were to have a partner like McIlrath, Del Zotto could take even more chances on offense because McIlrath would stay back, play his position and be physical. I know it’s too early to tell but this kind of pairing could end up compairing to the likes of a Brian Leetch-Jeff Beukeboom tandem.
I also liked the pick of Christian Thomas, Steve Thomas’s son. The younger Thomas has a nose for the net and scored 41 goals and 66 points in 61 games this season with the Oshawa Generals of the OHL.
Third round pick Andrew Yogan scored 25 goals and finished with 55 points in 63 games with Erie in the OHL. In the fifth and seven rounds, the Blueshirts took Jason Wilson from Owen Sound in the OHL and Randy McNaught from Saskatoon in the WHL. Both these guys notched over 100 penalty minutes and Wilson even added 35 points in 48 games.
I know, I know, no one knows what these picks will turn into. Remember, this is the same team that drafted Hugh Jessiman several years ago. However, it’s still something that Blueshirt fans should look forward to and read what Gordie Clark, the Rangers Director of Player Personnel, had to say (Taken from NewYorkRangers.com):
“It was a concerted effort on our part, our philosophy in this draft, to go after big Canadian junior players,” said Gordie Clark, the Rangers Director, Player Personnel. “It starts with McIlrath, who was the toughest player in the draft, and carries through. I am very happy with what we accomplished here.”
“We’re no different than the other 29 teams right now, everybody feels that they had a great draft,” said Clark. “But we are really happy with what we were able to accomplish.”
“McNaught is really coming along, and he’s a good old rugged Western Canadian farm boy,” said Clark. “And Wilson is going to surprise some people. He can really play.”
And as I mentioned yesterday, the team traded prospect defenseman Bobby Sanguinetti. Let’s face it folks, this kid was not going to get a chance to play in New York, especially with all the defensive depth the team has now when it comes to prospects. Glen Sather told NewYorkRangers.com the following regarding the deal:
“(Sanguinetti) is a nice kid, but I don’t think he’s going to fit the bill right now with the guys we have in the lineup and the guys we have drafted. It was better to move him now for a pick this year and an important pick next year.”
It’s nice to have young talent in the pipeline but Sather and the coaching staff need to get together and devise a way to help them grow and give them a chance to play. Look at teams like the Hawks, Penguins, Capitals, Avalanche and others who use their prospects and grow them the right way. Good things can happen.
We’ll see what happens in New York over the years. Now, however, it’s time to look towards free agency and see what Sather has in store for Blueshirt fans this off-season.
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Patrick has a tremendous passion for hockey. Besides covering the Rangers and the NHL for Kukla's Korner, you can also find Patrick's work over at Sportsnet.ca, The Red Light District Hockey Blog, NHL Home Ice, and Liam Maguire's Ultimate Hockey web site.
Prior to writing for the above mentioned outlets, you could find Patrick's musings at hockey web sites/outlets such as TheHockeyNews.com, TheFourthPeriod.com, Spector's Hockey, Hokeja Vestnesis, Blueshirt Bulletin, SNYRangersBlog.com and many more.
For questions, comments and hip checks, feel free to e-mail Patrick at firstname.lastname@example.org.