Experts give New York Rangers mock draft scenarios; is a trade in the works?

By Anthony Scultore
Jun 22, 2018; Dallas, TX, USA; NHL commissioner Gary Bettman gestures to the crowd as he speaks before the first round of the 2018 NHL Draft at American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Mock draft scenarios are flying in from all over the hockey world after last night’s NHL Draft Lottery drawing. The Buffalo Sabres who finished dead last did indeed win the first overall selection, with the Seattle Kraken being the only team to move up one spot to number two.

New York Rangers mock draft scenarios

Former NHL GM and TSN’s Director of Scouting, Craig Button conducted a mock draft yesterday after the lottery drawing. He selected Owen Power (D) first overall to the Sabres and Matthew Beniers (C) taken by the Seattle Kraken.

When it came to the New York Rangers, Button drafted USA National Development Program’s Chad Lucius. The 6-1 center scored 13 goals and 18 points in 12 games this season. Button compared him to a Brock Nelson type player.

Lucius is another prospect who once was hyped as a potential top-five pick before falling to the middle of the first-round pack. Although he’s not your classic NTDP center in that he’s more of a natural goal scorer than a playmaker (13 goals and 7 assists in his injury-shortened season), Lucius also chips in at the faceoff dot and makes up for average speed with excellent balance and puck protection.

The Draft Analyst
rangers mock draft
Chad Lucius (USNTDP/ Photo by Rena Laverty)

Over at the Athletic, Corey Pronman and Rick Carpiniello selected LW, Brennan Othmann from Flint in the OHL. Steve Kournianos who runs The Draft Analyst website ranks Othmann at 27, so this seems like a reach pick. He calls the smallish power forward, “A nasty in-your-face competitor with a plus-plus shot.”

Over at Sportsnet, Sam Cosentino chose my personal favorite, Fedor Svechkov. Does Chris Drury at the helm affect whether or not the Rangers go back to the Russian well,” he writes. “If so, Svechkov has size, plays hard and is supremely responsible at both ends of the rink.”

New York Rangers likely to trade pick 15

The main line of thought is that the Rangers will be moving pick 15 in the summer to acquire a win-now NHL roster player. Rick Carpiniello suggested Jack Eichel, and although the desire on the Rangers part has cooled it is still there.

If the Rangers elect to keep the pick, they most assuredly will be drafting a center, or moving up a few spots should Aatu Raty be within reach. However, I am inclined to believe that pick will be traded at the draft. Depending on Jack Eichel’s neck issue being resolved, Drury will likely pull the trigger on a blockbuster deal. That would also give the Sabres two picks in the top 15 of a deep draft.

Last night, Buffalo’s GM Kevyn Adams updated the situation on Eichel’s injury. He indicated the rehab time is up and the next step will be to talk with doctors. More to come on this situation over the following few days.

“It’s hard for me to answer that question because I need to speak with Jack’s agents and Jack himself and just kind of understand where they’re at,” Adams said. “Everybody agreed that the 12-week rehab was the first step in this process, so now I don’t have the information to say to you, ‘Here’s where we go from here.’

The Athletic

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