Gorton has all the chips in place to build a future dynasty

The  New York Rangers General Manager has a vision for the team’s future. That vision includes youth, speed and most importantly talent. The deals made at the trade deadline have the Rangers poised to take the long route to rebuilding. However there is a way for them the expedite the process.

Embarrassment of Riches

2017 was the first time the New York Rangers had a 1st round pick since 2012, where they took Brady Skjei. Team President and Gorton’s predecessor, Glen Sather was a fan of trading picks away for roster players to win now. The overall result of doing so led to multiple years without important picks.

What the past week has done, has given the Rangers (potentially) five draft picks in the top 50. That value in the draft picks is unbelievable. Especially considering two out of the three were for full rentals.

Trading away draft picks is what got the team in this spot to begin with, however doing this now versus back then, allows them to get players to help form the team faster. The team’s first pick, projected to be in the top 10 is obviously untouchable, other than that the four other top 50 picks could be had if the team is looking to expedite the process.

Ace in the Hole

The Rangers didn’t just stockpile draft picks, they also loaded up on defensive prospects. I would liken having an abundance of defensive wealth, to having a lot of pitching prospects in baseball. They are always in need and always have value.

Yegor Rykov

Yegor Rykov is a Russian left handed defenseman that has been said to be a puck mover with good gap control.

Ryan Lindgren

Lindgren is a projected to be a stay at home defensive defenseman that can bring a physical side. Lindgren is a solid skater that can move the puck, is at the University of Minnesota and is an alternate captain there.

Libor Hajek

Libor Hajek was called, the final piece Gorton wanted in the Ryan McDonagh trade. A defenseman with a low floor and a top four defensive talent. Currently playing with the Regina Pats, some insiders at the deadline called him a potential McDonagh-lite caliber player.

Big Picture

Trading rentals at the deadline is far from being a “rebuilding team”. Trading your captain with term and a young forward with team control, that is what a rebuilding team does. The biggest question mark for this rebuild, is what is the time frame? Is it to give Hank one last go at it before his contract is up? Or is it much longer of a process?

The draft picks have the most value, however, with players like Sean Day, Sergey Zbrovsky, Calle Själin and now the names mentioned above. There is a plethora of young defensive talent that also has value. Not to mention, John Gilmour, Neal Pionk, Anthony DeAngelo, Rob O’ Gara (who was acquired in the Holden deal) and even Brady Skjei not only create a log jam because of their talent levels, but also because of their youth.

Let’s also not forget that their future is brightest in goal. Igor Shestyorkin is a 22 year old phenom in the KHL for SKA. In 88 regular season games he has a winning record of 56-15-14. More importantly, he sports a 1.90 GAA with a stellar .928 save percentage. The Czar of NY as some fans have already dubbed him should make his way here by summer 2019 at the latest, due to his KHL contract.

Rebuilding a team is a process, and phase one (can still be continued at the draft) was to get younger and stock pile picks and prospects regardless if it means getting rid of “Familiar Faces” as Gorton said. Phase two is vital to both the length this will take and that is Draft Day. Gorton can get creative, or he can make the picks and really grow all the young talent.

It’s tough to admit, but the New York Rangers for the foreseeable future will be exciting even if they are losing. The hope being that one day, they can be exciting, winning and champions.

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