Day 2 of NHL draft could be interesting for New York Rangers

NHL: NHL Draft
Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Rangers had to be downright giddy having highly-touted winger Gabriel Perreault fall to them at 23. Regardless of which final rankings list you give more weight to, Perreault was considered by many to be a top-10 pick.

In a rare moment of general consensus among Rangers fans, the selection of Perreault was met by joyful approval. That’s because the 5-11′ right wing smashed the single-season USNTDP’s scoring mark with 132 points last season. The previous mark was 117 set in 2014-15 by Toronto Maple Leaf’s superstar Auston Matthews.

Speaking of rarities, the first-round of the 2023 NHL Draft did not yield a single trade on the floor. The last time that happened was in 2007 per NHL Stats and many believe Day 2 could be a wild one.

Will the Rangers be in the mix?

New York Rangers Draft Day 2

Chris Drury Gabriel Perreault
Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Day Two will start at 11 am et and be broadcasted on NHL Network, Sportsnet, and TVAS covering rounds two through seven.

Here are Rangers current Day 2 selections barring any trades:

  • 3rd Round – 91st Overall
  • 5th Round – 152nd Overall
  • 6th Round – 178th Overall
  • 6th Round – 183rd Overall

The 2023 Draft is widely considered one of the deepest drafts in recent memory. With so many solid prospects still available and 7 teams holding multiple picks in the second round, the chance for trades is very high.

President and General Manager Chris Drury has very little cap room in which to make any deal that would add a contract. However, that doesn’t rule out the possibility of using a combination of prospects and picks to move into round two today.

Let’s look at teams with multiple second round picks:

  • Anaheim Ducks (33, 59, 60)
  • Chicago Blackhawks (35, 44, 51, 55)
  • Buffalo Sabres (39, 45)
  • Detroit Red Wings (41, 42, 43)
  • Nashville Predators (46, 47)
  • Seattle Kraken (50, 52, 57)
  • Minnesota Wild (53, 64)

So what would it take for Drury to move up into this year’s second round? The Rangers have several solid prospects on entry-level contracts that they could use as part of package with one of the teams listed above.

Forwards Adam Edstrom, Bobby Trivigno, Brett Berard, and Ryder Korczak may be viable options. Drury could also use his 2024 second round pick as a bargaining chip.

The next logical question is whom should the Rangers do this for? My belief is the Rangers should look to add a quality center.

Ethan Gauthier (C/RW, 5-11′, 183 lbs)

The scouting reports have Gauthier as a solid two-way player with good hockey sense. He scored 69 points in 66 games in the QMJHL last season.

Riley Heidt (C, 5-10′, 180 lbs)

This WHL center registered a solid 97 points in 68 matches. He’s considered another player with above average hockeyIQ and has that vision you want in a pivot.

Anton Wahlberg (C, 6-3′, 195 lbs)

A big Swedish center that exudes confidence and plays hard. Wahlberg raised eyebrows with his performance for Sweden at the WJC registering 6 points in 7 tournament contests.

Oscar Fisker Molgaard (C, 6-0′, 163 lbs)

An excellent two-way center that takes care of his own end before going on the attack. The Denmark native recorded 7 points in 41 games playing against men in the SHL.

The Rangers may very well stand pat today, but if they can pull off a deal to nab one of these centers it would be boon for the prospect pipeline.

Anthony Scultore is the founder of Forever Blueshirts and has been covering the New York Rangers and the NHL... More about Anthony Scultore

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