Ranking the New York Rangers top prospects before the NHL Draft

nils lundkvist
Nils Lundkvist (Photo: John Mrakovcich / Wolf Pack)

The New York Rangers are looking to extend their NHL Playoff lives with a big win against the Carolina Hurricanes in Game 6 Saturday night at Madison Square Garden.

Regardless of what the Rangers do from here on out, this has already been a huge step in the right direction for a young team. The experience that players like Alexis Lafrenière (20), Kaapo Kakko (21), Filip Chytil (22), and Braden Schneider (20) have received is immeasurable in their development.

As the NHL Draft approaches, the Rangers currently hold the number 24 pick. That will be moved to the Winnipeg Jets as part of the conditions in the trade for Andrew Copp if the Rangers advance to Round 2. That means their first selection will be in the fourth round.

Ranking the New York Rangers prospects

Below are my top 10 prospect rankings for the New York Rangers organization.

In order to be considered a prospect, the player must be on their entry-level contract and not part of the current active roster. Additionally, any name in italics is also a possibility to be traded this summer.

1Brennan OthmannF193 YEARS/$894K
2Nils LundkvistD212 YEARS/$925K
3Zac JonesD211 YEAR/$925K
4Will CuylleF203 YEARS/$828K
5Matthew RobertsonD202 YEARS/$797K
6Vitali KravtsovRW22RFA/$925K
7Ryder KorczakC193 YEARS/$859K
8Bobby TrivignoF232 YEARS/$925K
9Lauri PajuniemiF221 YEAR/$883K
10Hunter SkinnerD202 YEARS/$850K

Analyzing the NY Rangers top prospects

Syndication: Westchester County Journal News
Brennan Othmann takes part in the Rangers Prospect Development Camp at the Rangers Training facility in Tarrytown July 12, 2022. Rangers Development Camp

There should be no surprise that Brennan Othmann has taken over as the Rangers top prospect. The 19 year-old was selected in the first round of the 2021 NHL Entry Draft 16th overall. This season for the Flint Firebirds, the versatile forward has been an absolute force. In 66 regular season games, he’s registered 50 goals and 97 points per the OHL’s website.

Othmann is facing the Rangers #4 ranked prospect, Will Cuylle and the Windsor Spitfires in the OHL Playoffs. He has 18 points in 15 playoff games and has his Firebirds up in the series 2 games to 1.

Cuylle, had an excellent season for Windsor with 43 goals and 80 points in 59 games. He’s added 17 points in 14 postseason games to date.

Number two on my list is Nils Lundkvist. The 21 year-old defenseman struggled to adjust coming over from Sweden but still showed me enough that he was worth the first-round selection in the 2018 NHL Entry Draft. In 25 games with the Rangers, he posted 1 goal and 4 points. He picked up an additional 15 points in 34 games with the Wolf Pack in the AHL.

Zac Jones comes in at number three thanks to his solid hockey smarts, ability to play strong positional defense, and scoring ability. He led all Wolf Pack blue-liners this season with 9 goals and 35 points in 52 games. He was also called up a few times by the Rangers adding 2 assists in 12 games this season.

Matthew Robertson rounds out the top five because he is a steady defenseman that has NHL potential. He posted 11 points in 65 games for the Pack and can still develop into a top 4 defender.

Vitali Kravtsov has fallen the most on this list. The former first round selection, 9th overall, from 2018 has seen his value drop steadily year after year. While it’s nice that he’s played well in the KHL, the red flags are out on his compete level. He is an RFA and Chris Drury will be lucky to get a second round pick for his rights at the Draft this summer.

As for rest, Ryder Korczak is someone to watch move up this list. He is an offensive minded center that registered 79 points in 68 games for the Moose Jaw Warriors of the WHL this season. His 54 assists led the team.

Bobby Trivigno was a late signing and thus not eligible to be part of the Rangers playoff run as an extra. The Rangers had their eye on the undrafted college star from UMASS dating back to September. This year, he collected 48 points in 36 games which included 20 goals. He was named College Hockey News’ player of the year.

Lauri Pajuniemi and Hunter Skinner also had solid seasons for the Wolf Pack, but with the Rangers depth on the wings and defense, they will likely be trade bait.

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Anthony Scultore is the founder of Forever Blueshirts and has been covering the New York Rangers and the NHL... More about Anthony Scultore

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