New York Rangers best Second Round draft picks of all-time

NHL: Winnipeg Jets at New York Rangers
Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Rangers have selected 556 players to date at the annual NHL Entry Draft, which began in 1963. Forever Blueshirts continues its series of articles looking at the franchise’s best picks from rounds 1 through 7.

Historically, New York has drafted 61 players in the second round, with 39 appearing in an NHL game and 34 suiting up for the Blueshirts. Interestingly, the club’s first second-round pick was Terry Jones in the 1963 NHL Amateur Draft (10th overall), and their most recent one was Adam Sykora (63rd overall) in the 2022 NHL Entry Draft.

Join us each week to see who makes the cut.

Note: Dates and statistics from Hockey-Reference.com and EliteProspects.com were used to compile this list.

Top New York Rangers Draft Picks From Round 2

NHL: USA TODAY Sports-Archive
RVR Photos-USA TODAY Sports

5. Don Maloney – 26th Overall 1978

NHL stats: 765 GP – 214 G – 350 A – 564 Pts

New York stats: 653 GP – 195 G – 307 A – 502 Pts

Don Maloney played for the Kitchener Rangers in the OMJHL, serving as team captain in 1977-78 before New York drafted him as the 26th pick in the 1978 NHL Amateur Draft. At 20, he made his professional debut, skating in 28 games his first season before playing the next decade on Broadway, collecting 502 points in 653 games.

As a two-time NHL All-Star, winning MVP at the 1984 game, Maloney was traded (along with Brian Lawton and Norm Maciver) to the Hartford Whalers on Dec. 26, 1988, in a deal for a fifth-round pick (Lubos Rob) and Carey Wilson. After 21 games, he became a free agent and signed with the New York Islanders, departing the NHL in 1991, joining the team’s executive, and serving as Islanders’ General Manager from 1992-1996.

Maloney would return to the Rangers in 1996 to serve as Assistant General Manager, Vice President of Player Personnel, and the Hartford Wolf Pack General Manager. In 2007, he left and ran the Phoenix Coyotes organization for a decade before moving to the Calgary Flames, where he is currently the President of Hockey Operations.

4. Ron Greschner – 32nd Overall 1974

NHL stats: 981GP – 179 G – 431 A – 610 Pts

New York stats: 981GP – 179 G – 431 A – 610 Pts

Ron Greschner spent his 16-year NHL career with the Rangers, who drafted him in the second round (32nd overall) at the 1974 Amateur Draft. At 20, he debuted during the 1974-75 season, netting 45 points in 70 games to finish fifth in Calder Trophy voting.

As one of the Ranger’s best defenders during his time with the club, Greschner appeared in the 1980 All-Star Game and still ranks fourth all-time in franchise history for games played with 981. Although he only managed to get votes for the Norris Trophy on one occasion, he remains the team’s seventh-all-time leading scorer with 610 points. At 35, he retired from professional hockey after the 1989-90 season.

3. Tomas Sandström – 36th Overall 1982

NHL stats: 983GP – 394 G – 462 A – 856 Pts

New York stats: 407GP – 173 G – 207 A – 380 Pts

Tomas Sandström joined the Rangers through the 1982 NHL Entry Draft as the 36th pick, finishing the previous season as the Swedish Junior Hockey Player of the Year (Årets Junior) while winning the U18 EJC Gold Medal. After getting drafted, he would become an All-Star and the WJC Best Forward at the U20 WJC Championships while winning an Olympic Bronze Medal the same season.

At 20, Sandström finally came to North America and scored 58 points in 74 games to finish seventh in Calder Trophy voting and earn All-Rooke Honors. Despite never scoring less than 54 points during his six seasons on Broadway, he was dealt to Los Angeles (with Tony Granato) for Bernie Nicholls. Once he found chemistry with Wayne Gretzky, Sandström had a career-high 45 goals in 1990-91 while finishing second in playoff scoring when the Kings lost in the 1993 Stanley Cup Final.

Although he would also skate with the Pittsburgh Penguins and Anaheim Ducks, he would win the Stanley Cup with the Detroit Red Wings in 1997. After 58 games with the Ducks in 1998-99, Sandström played in Sweden with the MIF (Malmö) Redhawks before retiring from professional hockey in 2002.

2. Doug Weight – 34th Overall 1990

NHL stats: 1,238 GP – 278 G – 755 A – 1,033 Pts

New York stats: 118 GP – 23 G – 47 A – 70 Pts

Doug Weight is one of the best statistical American-born skaters in league history, playing in 1,238 games and netting 1,033 points, which ranks ninth all-time amongst his fellow compatriots. The Rangers drafted him with the 34th pick in the 1990 NHL Entry Draft while he was a Lake Superior State University prospect.

Interestingly, Weight made his NHL debut in the playoffs in 1991, playing a single game before becoming a regular the following season. After 118 games over a season and a half, New York dealt him to the Edmonton Oilers in March 1993 for Esa Tikkanen, who would play a significant role in the Rangers ending their 54-year championship drought in 1994.

Upon leaving the Big Apple, Weight would assume several leadership roles, serving as captain with the Oilers and Islanders while skating with the St. Louis Blues and Anaheim Ducks. He would win his only Stanley Cup championship during the 2006 playoffs with the Carolina Hurricanes.

Internationally, Weight won a World Cup and an Olympic Silver Medal, complimenting his NCAA championship and earning him an induction into the United States Hockey Hall of Fame. Today, after many years as Assistant General Manager, Assistant Coach, and Head Coach of the Islanders, he’s a senior advisor with the San Jose Sharks.

1. Mike Richter – 28th Overall 1988

NHL stats: 666 GP – 301-258-73 / 2.89 GAA / .904 SV%

New York stats: 666 GP – 301-258-73 / 2.89 GAA / .904 SV%

In Rangers history, the franchise’s best goalies before the 1990s were Chuck Rayner and Ed Giacomin. However, their spot at the top of many of the franchise’s goalies charts was overcome by a 5-foot-11 netminder from Abington, PA, Mike Richter. As a prospect with the University of Wisconsin, New York drafted him with the 28th overall pick in the 1988 NHL Entry Draft to assist a young John Vanbiesbrouck in ushering in a new era for the franchise.

Ultimately, Richter never disappointed on Broadway, leading the team to a Stanley Cup title in 1994, the same season he won the All-Star Game MVP award. Besides the accolades of his best seasons, many fans will never forget his split save on a penalty shot in Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final against one the game’s most lethal snipers, Pavel Bure.

As one of the greatest American-born players in NHL and international competition, Richter won a World Cup, made the tournament’s All-Star team, and was named MVP in 1996. He also backstopped the United States to a Silver Medal in 2002 Salt Lake City.

Despite not earning an induction into the Hockey Hall of Fame yet, Richter is a member of the United States Hockey Hall of Fame and won the Lester Patrick Trophy for his contributions to U.S. Hockey. Moreover, the award for being the top goalie in NCAA Division I hockey is the Mike Richter Award.

Before Henrik Lundqvist broke most of his team records, Richter was the most outstanding statistical goalie in Rangers history, thanks to 666 games and 301 wins. Upon retirement in 2003 because of an ongoing battle with concussions, he enrolled and graduated from Yale University and is the current President of Brightcore Energy.

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