There is a lot of buzz this weekend as the NHL draft is just a few days away on October 6th. Most of the noise around Rangerstown was generated by Jeff Gorton and John Davidson yesterday. Let’s dive in.
Rangers and Jesper Fast not talking
I reported back on 9/1 that Jesper Fast and the Rangers had not had any discussions this offseason and he was heading to free agency. Imagine my surprise when Jeff Gorton said the two sides were talking. Obviously things could have changed in a month, but my source said to me on an off the record phone call, “the window has passed.”
Last night, Larry Brooks wrote the following:
Another core piece of the room is expected to depart with Jesper Fast pretty much out the door as an impending Oct. 9 unrestricted free agent. Gorton talked around the Fast situation, but The Post has learned that there has not been a single conversation between the team and Kurt Overhardt, the winger’s agent, since extension talks broke down leading into the deadline. So, one wouldn’t expect an offer at this late date, especially since the Rangers are being careful to leave a bumper to protect them against entry level bonus charges against the cap.
Confirming my reporting on Jesper Fast
Since the exclusive article ran on 9/1, not only did the Rangers buyout Henrik Lundqvist, they also traded Marc Staal and freed cap space. All of that prompted me to circle back with my source on Wednesday to see if there was a change. The email response was brief and to the the point, “ask the Rangers.”
Jeff Gorton also said yesterday that they will not spend to the cap because of the large amount of performance bonuses. He also added that the Rangers may look to trade or sign a veteran left defenseman. New York also has 5 RFA’s to get worked out. So unless Jesper Fast lowers his ask in both term and money, it is hard to see him coming back.
TSN mock draft, Rangers picks
Craig Button did a mock draft of all 31 selections. The Rangers have two draft picks in round one (1 and 22).
Not shockingly, Button went with Alexis Lafreniere with the first overall pick. For number 22, Button gave the Rangers center Connor Zary.
Who is Connor Zary?
So who is Connor Zary? For that I will defer to our good friend, The Draft Analyst.
A top-notch competitor with a nose for the net, Zary was the heart and soul of an improved Kamloops team that improved significantly from last season. He’s an intelligent two-way center who provides support in a variety of ways, including subtle touch or bank passes in the defensive zone that leads to swift breakouts. Playmaking is just one of his distinguishable assets, as he can deliver precision passes from either his forehand or backhand. Strong and well-balanced, Zary displays deceptive quickness and requires only two or three strides to accelerate to top speed and become an open-ice threat.The Draft Analyst
Just a note, a new podcast episode will be recorded talking the NHL draft with The Draft Analyst himself. Expect it out later today.
Loads of news and trade chatter in today’s NHL Headlines
Check out the latest at The Daily Goal Horn! With the draft drawing near the trade talk is through the roof.