Who should the New York Rangers select in the 2023 NHL Draft

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Jul 7, 2022; Montreal, Quebec, CANADA; A general view outside of Bell Centre before the first round of the 2022 NHL Draft. Mandatory Credit: Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Rangers locked into spot 23 of the NHL Draft order when the Florida Panthers advanced to the final four.

Since 2017, the Blueshirts have had a total of 8 first round draft picks. For the most part, they drafted the best player available and not based on need. If they had done so, the Rangers would have a lot more depth at the center position in their prospect pool.

Here’s a quick look at those selections:

The NHL Draft is scheduled for June 28-29 at the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, TN.

2023 NHL Draft: New York Rangers

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Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports

The Rangers prospect pipeline is solid everywhere but the center position heading into this draft. Looking at all their potential young pivots, only Bryce McConnell-Barker stands out as a possible future center on Broadway.

While it would behoove Chris Drury and the scouting department to prioritize a center, it’s very likely they will select the best player available when it comes time to pick.

Primarily based on the latest rankings by NHL Central Scouting, these five prospects stand out as potential Blueshirt picks.

Gabe Perreault (RW, 5-11′, 165 lbs)

GM Chris Drury and Assistant GM Ryan Martin have deep ties to the US National Team Development Program and will likely look here for available talent. Perreault had an outstanding season for the US with 53 goals, 79 assists, 132 points in 63 games. He’s a skilled forward with silky mitts and a high HockeyIQ. It’s unlikely that he will be there at 23, but if he is the Rangers must take him.

Oliver Bonk (D, 6-3′, 202 lbs)

Any Rangers scouts watching Brennan Othmann in the OHL Finals with the Peterborough Petes are also getting a close look at Oliver Bonk, who plays for the London Knights. The right-handed defenseman does everything well and picked up 10 goals, 30 assists, and 40 points in 67 OHL games. The 18 year-old would be a solid replacement for the 29 year-old Jacob Trouba in the future.

Charlie Stramel (C, 6-3′, 212 lbs)

If the Rangers are looking for a center, this University of Wisconsin product is one to target. Stramel is not going to wow you with flashy offensive play since he only scored 12 points in 33 games this season. However, he’s a physical pivot that fights for pucks and that’s something the Blueshirts need after this past disappointing postseason loss.

Kasper Halttunen (RW, 6-3′, 207 lbs)

This Finnish winger has dropped in some rankings but it’s hard to ignore his size and abilities which he uses to get to the net (another thing the Rangers need). Halttunen is a raw talent, but you can’t teach size and the will to get into dirty areas. He registered 18 goals, 6 assists, and 24 points in 18 games for HIFK (u20).

Danny Nelson (F, 6-3, 202 lbs)

Another prospect out of the US NTDP that should be of interest to the Rangers since he can play center. Nelson is one of the more interesting prospects because he even played on defense for his Minnesota high school. Needless to say, he’s going into this draft as a forward because he has good offensive skills moving the puck up ice. This past season, he notched 21 goals, 26 assists, and 47 points in 62 games.

Resources used for this article include: The Athletic, Elite Prospects, TSN

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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