Rangers need to make the playoffs a priority over getting another high draft pick

The Rangers have been a very up and down team this season. There have been points at which it looked like they were bound for another lottery pick finish. But then there have been moments that have made them look like a playoff hopeful.

Coming into this season, John Davidson had noted that the goal this season was to make the playoffs. Despite the ongoing rebuild, this was the bar that was set heading into October. But the Rangers recent struggles have left many believing that they are heading towards to bottom for a second straight season.

Recent Struggles

A win against the Philadelphia Flyers would’ve moved the Blueshirts to within five points of a wild card spot. However, for the second time in a week the team imploded in the third. Philly scored four in the third and five unanswered to decisively nab two points from the tilt. New York now sits nine points back.

The Blueshirts’ fan base seems relatively split on whether or not the playoffs would be a good thing or not. Many of my fellow writers feel this would be detrimental to the rebuild. I do not.

Yes, another high draft pick would be excellent for the Rangers, there is no denying that. However, I think it is time for the kids to gain a new experience. This is the second season under David Quinn’s developmental system and we’ve seen plenty of regular season games.

But what historically brings out new sides to players and introduces them to the next level of NHL intensity? Playoffs.

Post Season Play

If the Rangers were able to somehow squeeze into the playoffs, it would allow their young players to see first hand and at an early age what it takes to compete for the Cup. The earlier on you show a player how to win the better. In addition, making the playoffs would be a confidence builder. Rookies and other developing players feed off confidence like they are plants facing the sun. Confidence is key.

To instill a new attitude, one of winning and confidence, would take these kids to the next level.

Loaded with Talent

Kakko (Jim McIsaac)

Many feel the Rangers are not just one piece away from contending. I again disagree. Look at the talent that the Rangers have in their system right now. We are looking at a future that will consist of Artemi Panarin, Mika Zibanejad, Pavel Buchnevich, Filip Chytil, Kaapo Kakko, and Vitali Kravtsov. And how about K’Andre Miller and Nils Lundkvist too? Don’t forget about Igor Shesterkin either. After that the Rangers still have a plethora of prospects performing very very well, like Joey Keane, Karl Henriksson, Lauri Pajuniemi, Zac Jones and Morgan Barron.

This teams future is so bright that it’s blinding. When this team develops, it can be lethal. It can be a powerhouse. Yes another high draft pick can help, but it is not necessary for this team to contend in the future. The key needs to be development now instead of drafting. If this team is developed correctly and supplemented later on with role players, it will win a Cup.

There was a guy about 13 years ago who stepped in as an interim general manager for a team and drafted well and made good trades. That team was the Boston Bruins. That team has won a Cup, almost two, and has been led by a core of Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand, and Zdeno Chara for years. And do you know who that interim GM who put that winning team together was? A man by the name of Jeff Gorton.

This team is on the right track. It is on an amazing track actually. Making the playoffs would boost confidence and introduce the kids to the NHL even further. And it would absolutely not ruin the rebuild because, if all the names I mentioned above don’t make the team close or on the right track already, then the rebuild is already a failure. This team is close and it is time to start trying to win and stop flirting with the idea of high draft picks or tanking. That is how you become the Edmonton Oilers or Buffalo Sabres of the past 15 years.

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