Yesterday, the NHL Draft Lottery took place. The Rangers had a 6% chance at the first overall pick and an approximately 20% chance at a pick in the top three. Unfortunately, the Rangers fell back one spot from where they were initially slotted, and will pick at ninth overall. While this is disappointing, there are still many quality prospects that the Rangers can choose from. Defenseman Noah Dobson, center Joe Veleno, and if they are not chosen before pick nine, defenseman Evan Bouchard, and center Oliver Wahlstrom.
After the lottery, Rangers general manager Jeff Gorton said this in an interview with the New York Post: “We were hoping to win the lottery, that would have been great, but we always planned on drafting around eighth. We’re pretty confident going to get a good player at nine … if we’re still there.”
Larry Brooks of the New York Post reinforced Gorton’s claims by saying that the Rangers will likely trade up in the draft. Brooks also went on to say that the Rangers will target both the Ottawa Senators’ and the Arizona Coyotes’ picks 4 and 5 respectively.
This makes sense from an Ottawa Senators perspective because they need a defenseman, and moving down in the draft would allow them to select players like Adam Boqvist, Quinton Hughes, and Even Bouchard. Last year, the Rangers traded with the Arizona Coyotes to move up in the draft, so we know that there is a relationship between Rangers general manager Jeff Gorton, and Arizona’s general manager John Chayka.
If the Rangers were to move up to four or five, they could potentially select Brady Tkachuk and have an exciting center who would be apart of the Rangers core for a long time to come. Or if he is not selected, winger Flip Zadina who had excellent chemistry with Filip Chytil in the World Juniors.
Who knows what the future has in store for us, but it will be an exciting offseason for Ranger fans. Stay tuned to Rangers Rhetoric for all your offseason news, and if you would like to engage with us on social media, feel free to give us a follow @NYR_RHETORIC.