Five Prospects for the Rangers to Consider at Number Nine
With the NHL draft lottery concluded, we now know what selection the Rangers will have in the upcoming entry draft. The Rangers will pick ninth overall as well as two picks in the realm of 26-31 overall.
Although the dream of having Rasmus Dahlin, Andrei Svechnikov or Filip Zadina wearing the Blueshirt has ended, it’s time to take a look at which players the Rangers could select with their ninth overall selection.
Oliver Wahlstrom – USNTDP – RW – 6’1”, 205 pounds
2017-18 Stats: 47 G, 45 A – 92 points – 60 games played
Most likely, Wahlstrom will be the next forward called off the board after the selections of Svechnikov, Zadina, and Brady Tkachuk. He has the speed, size, and skill to be a dominant forward in this league. The kid has a great hockey sense and from what he has brought to the table this season for the USNTDP, he has shown that he can really put the puck in the net. Oh, and the kid has no problem killing penalties either. The Rangers may have to get a little lucky to grab him but he could fall to them at nine.
Quinn Hughes – University of Michigan (NCAA) – D – 5’10”, 174 pounds
2017-18 Stats: 5 G. 24 A – 29 points – 37 games played
Tabbed as one of the smoothest skating and best puck-handling defensemen in this draft, Hughes has all the natural talent in the world. He had a massive year for the Wolverines and is a big reason they had a great Frozen Four tournament. He can quarterback the powerplay and is extremely smart with his decision making. He’s been described by Joe Curtis of eliteprospects.com as “[Being] a complete defenseman that understands how to open up a game and take it over.” That sounds like someone the Rangers could use on their blueline.
Joel Farabee – USNTDP – LW – 6’0”, 168 pounds
2017-18 Stats: 33 G, 41 A – 74 points – 60 games played
One of the top two dominant USNTDP forwards that will be available in this draft, Farabee is described by The Draft Analyst Steve Kournianos, as a “quick skating offensive force.” He captained Team USA’s squad at the U18 World Juniors this year. The knock on him is that he has to gain some muscle but that is fixable in the gym. As one of the top forwards in this draft, Farabee must be on the Rangers radar as they look to get better on the wings.
Evan Bouchard – London Knights (OHL) – D – 6’2”, 193 pounds
2017-18 Stats – 25 G, 67 A – 87 points – 67 games played
The captain of the OHL’s London Knights is one of the most complete defensemen in this draft. He has a cannon of a shot and rose up draft rankings this year with his absolutely stellar play during the season. He actually got better once some star players were traded from the Knights and it shows he can carry a heavy workload. Described by Sportsnet’s Sam Cosentino as being “strong as an ox,” this is another guy who the Rangers really need to consider.
Ty Smith – Spokane Chiefs (WHL) – D – 5’10”, 170 pounds
2017-18 stats: 14 G, 59 A – 73 points – 69 games played
Described by The Hockey News’ Ryan Kennedy as being the best prospect out of the WHL, Smith would be a great addition for the Rangers if they choose to go with him at nine. He is another smooth skating defenseman and served as Canada’s captain at the U18 World Juniors this past season. With great skating ability, a great shot, good hockey IQ and leadership qualities, the Rangers could do a lot worse at ninth overall.
Barring a trade to move up in the draft there’s a good chance one of these names mentioned above will be a New York Ranger on June 22nd in Dallas.