David Quinn gave some insights recently on the state of the Rangers
Dan Rosen of NHL.com caught up with the Rangers second-year head coach David Quinn at the draft. They talked rebuild, expectations, and prospects. Their conversation gives us a much better look into the Rangers approach going forward.
On the 2019 NHL Entry Draft
With the second overall pick in this years NHL Entry Draft, the Rangers were feeling very confident and excited about the player they would receive, which ended up being the “Finnish Force” Kaapo Kakko as expected. When asked about his feelings that night heading into the draft, Quinn said, “I had goosebumps.”
On Kaapo Kakko
Quinn, unsurprisingly, is a huge fan of the Rangers first rounder. He put a lot of emphasis on Kakko’s playmaking ability, referencing how his experience at the center position has helped improve that ability. In addition, Quinn is excited to see Kakko grow physically. Despite already being a good size, he thinks Kakko will be much bigger when he reaches his twenties.
Quinn was also asked about the timeline for Kakko and whether he’ll be expected to play in the NHL immediately. He made it clear that he doesn’t want to put too much pressure on the rookie, but that that he will have that opportunity. He also stated that the Rangers are a team looking for more help in a league that is getting younger, but it all depends on how quickly Kakko adjusts.
On the right side of the defense/Jacob Trouba
Quinn says that Trouba fits the mold perfectly for the Rangers rebuilt defense and that his best days are yet to come. He loves the young defenseman due to that fact that finding those players who can defend but also get involved offensively are hard to find and because those are the ones who help teams win championships.
On Adam Fox
Having watched the Harvard defenseman from afar, Quinn knows him well and is excited to coach him. He’s pleased that he is familiar with his game, which will make coaching him a lot easier.
Quinn was asked about Fox’s transition to the NHL and what that timeline will look like, to which he responded, “We’re not going to throw him right in. He’s got to earn an opportunity to play on the Rangers.” He further went on to say that Fox will have to defend on another level. So, the opportunity will be there but they’re not rushing him.
This helps to confirm Forever Blueshirts’ own Anthony Scultore’s belief that Kevin Shattenkirk is not likely to be bought out. If the Rangers are going to transition Fox slower and make sure he’s 100% good to go, then expect Shattenkirk to man the right side on the second or third pairing for now.
On pressure to make the playoffs and last trade deadline
Quinn thinks there’s always pressure to make the playoffs and believes the Rangers are in the position to do so. He thought could’ve made it last season before the trade deadline. He thinks they have a group that can seriously contend for a spot next season.
In terms of that trade deadline, Quinn said the locker room changed and that the uncomfortable reality began to take over its atmosphere.