How far will the Rangers get this season?

Possible First Round Pick: Matt Puempel

Matt Puempel (Via

Matt Puempel (Via

The Rangers currently have five defensemen under the age of 28 on their roster and two more top prospects on the way, so it’s very likely New York will be looking to add some offensive firepower with its first-round pick, No. 15 overall in the NHL Draft.

Between now and June 24th, we’ll take a look at some of the forwards that the Rangers might be thinking about taking on draft day.  Today, we look at… 

Matt Puempel

HT: 6-0

WT: 198

Pos: LW

Shoots: L

Birthday: 1/24/93

Team: Peterborough, OHL

2009-2010 stats: 33g, 31a, 59gp, 43PIM, -2

2010-2011 stats: 34g, 35a, 55gp, 49PIM, -33

2010-2011 playoffs: N/A profile > 



The Hockey News: 21

CSS: 28 Midterm Rank: 29

ISS: 28 

TSN: 27 Midterm Rank: 18 

TSN (Craig Button): 14 

The Scouting Report: 12 Midterm Rank: 5

Bruins 2011 Draft Watch: 23

Corey Pronman: 33

ESPN: 24


Highlight Reel > 


What They’re Saying:

THN – “Things started so well this season for Matt Puempel.  Coming off being named top rookie for both the OHL and CHL, he helped lead Canada to gold in the Ivan Hlinka Tournament and recorded a hat trick in his first game of the season.  And while his season wasn’t a disaster, the good times didn’t last.  First, he has to toil all year for a terrible team and missed the last month of the campaign with a cracked hip that required surgery.  ‘Unfortunately, he’s going to pay the freight for having been injured and being on a bad team,’ a scout said.  ‘Going into this year, he would have been a consensus top-10 guy.  Maybe somebody is going to go on what they remember.  I don’t know.’  But with two 30-goal seasons, Puempel has proved he can score consistently at the junior level.  ‘I like his skill level,’ a scout said.  ‘He’s not a great skater, but he has good feet and is a pretty hard worker.’”

The Scouting Report – “High expectations were bestowed upon the 2009/2010 CHL rookie of the year this season; one that proved to be pretty disappointing for Matt Puempel. A combination of a poor Peterborough squad and a late season ending hip injury made this season a difficult one for Puempel. Despite the negatives, Puempel still remains as one of the premier goal scorers in this crop. Puempel will likely make a living off his release and shot power/accuracy, but he improved some of the other areas of his game this season as well. It was evident that he started to take some steps to become more of a dominant player on his own and began to create a lot of his own opportunities instead of relying on a center to get him the puck. Assuming NHL teams are satisfied with his injury rehabilitation, Puempel is still very much a Top 15 type player."

Bruins 2011 Draft Watch – "One player we generally wanted to have higher, but simply couldn't do so based on lack of viewing opportunities. B2011DW fully recognizes that the Petes standout who scored back-to-back 30-goal seasons with his club who could have had 40+ goals this year if not for a bone chip in his hip that shelved him for surgery with about a month to go is a high-end scoring talent. The 2010 CHL Rookie of the Year has unreal hands and offensive hockey sense. He can snipe pucks from anywhere in the offensive zone and does the unexplainable- able to fire the puck from seemingly impossible angles and situations. He ripped a bullet from the right side less than a minute into the gold medal game of the Ivan Hlinka in what ended up being a 1-0 win for Canada (who has owned that non-IIHF tourney since its inception btw). Where Puempel loses his shine is in the fact that he is of extremely average size, strength, skating ability and compete level. He's not poor in any of those areas, but NHL scouts look at him and keep thinking how much more dangerous and effective he could be if he just tried a little harder, had an extra step and adds the extra mass that's expected before he hits his physical peak. We don't think the hip injury will hurt him much at the draft- we're told it isn't a chronic condition and whichever team drafts him will do so based on everything they've seen from him over two seasons, not what he might have accomplished in the last month for a non-playoff team."

Corey Pronman - "Matt Puempel is one of the better goal-scoring prospects in this draft class, but one who after the shot/finishing tool has a lot of aspects that need to be fine-tuned. He has terrific mechanics and accuracy on a shot that is above-average and flashes plus potential. The word "quick release" is sometimes overused in scouting circles, but with Puempel his release is something that separates him from other goal-scorers and his ability to get quality shots off in motion and without having to set his feet is a very desirable trait. He anticipates the play well coming out of his own zone and finding gaps in the offensive zone to slide into scoring position. His puck skills are solid with the ability to handle the puck well in tight and he displays solid passing ability. Puempel's skating tool grades as below-average with average speed when he gets going in a straight line. While he does show decent balance and grit on the puck, he has to put on a fair amount of strength to continue playing his style of game at the next level. He has the hockey sense to play a decent defensive game, but like most young players, that aspect of his game isn't as consistent as one would like it to be."

The Hockey Writers – “No stranger to the limelight, Puempel was drafted 6th Overall in the 2009 OHL Priority Draft, committing to play with the Peterborough Petes. Coming from the Sun County Panthers, Puempel came into the Ontario Hockey League with a storm, scoring 33 goals in his first season.  Though he missed a chunk of his second season with Peterborough, he continued where he left off with another 34 goals.  With all the makings of a top goal scorer at the NHL Level, Puempel shows signs of being a wildcard who could be taken much higher than most expect. His pure skill and hands are a desirable to any scout or GM in the National Hockey League.” – “’He is dangerous with the puck and has an excellent shot,’ Edwards said. ‘He has the ability to make highly skilled passes through traffic and can make his linemates better. His goals are skilled goals.’  After becoming the youngest player in the history of the Petes to score 33 goals in a season and leading all first-year players in the Ontario Hockey League with 64 points, Puempel garnered OHL and CHL Rookie of the Year honors in 2009-10.  ‘I've always been known as an offensive guy,’ he said. ‘I like that, but I also don't want to be known as a one-dimensional player. I kind of want to work on from the goal line out. I think that's what gets you to the next level. Defense first and the offense will come off of that.’  In 2010-11, Puempel worked hard to improve his two-way game. Still, he's best known for his goal-scoring prowess.  ‘I think Matt just needs to continue to find a complete game and he made great strides in that direction,’ Peterborough coach Mike Pelino told ‘I think throughout his whole youth, he was such a natural scorer. This year we've got him killing penalties and playing in key defensive situations, primarily to give him the opportunity to develop in those areas. As he continues to round out his complete game, he'll continue to be that much more effective.’” 

ESPN - “Puempel is out for the season with a chipped bone in his hip. It sounds like it's less complicated than what Brett Connolly had last year and that it might have no huge effect on Puempel's stock.  Scouts will tell you that they've seen enough of Puempel over the last two seasons to have a clear read of his game. The fact that he was leading the Petes in scoring, before the injury, is all the more impressive given that he's ahead of teammate Austin Watson, Nashville's first-rounder last year. Puempel had a pretty decent shot at 40 goals for the regular season, seven-eighths of the way there. So what's lost? A chance to make a good last impression.  Puempel was a lock to be on the Canadian team at the World Under-18s and the tournament would have given him a chance to put to rest questions about his skating. A lot of scouts who work the Ontario region have no concerns about it, but a few wonder if it will hold him back at the next level. In a lot of ways Puempel is comparable to Jeff Skinner, particularly in the ability to work in traffic and generate the best possible chance. But Skinner's skating was better than Puempel's and Skinner made a great impression in the playoffs last season. He jumped from the second 10 up to everyone's top 10 (except for Central Scouting's rankings which had him at No. 34). Puempel won't have that chance to jump.  Stockwatch: Holding in the second 10 pending physicals at the combine.”

Jess Rubenstein – “He is also another Scheifele-type guy who got a ton of playing time for a bad team. In the 2nd rd maybe but no way at No. 15.”

Mock Drafts:

Adam Kimelman, – N/A 

Mike Morreale, – 22 

Steven Hoffner, – 25

Deven Persaud, - N/A – 20 

Gary Joyce, ESPN – 23 

Mark Seidel, CBC – 20 

Hockey's Future - 25

The Hockey News - 25


Thoughts: Puempel’s draft slot will depend largely on how teams feel he is recovering from the hip injury that ended his season.  If last year is any indication, they might not be concerned as Brett Connolly was going through a similar situation and ended up being taken sixth overall.  Puempel’s ugly plus/minus jumps off the page at you, but remember that he played on an awful team.  If he didn’t get hurt, Puempel would have been a 40-goal scorer, and that’s with opposing teams focused on him at all times.  He has a wicked release and appears to be one of those guys that the puck always finds around the net.  Assuming he proves that he’s healthy at the combine, Puempel could be a steal.

The Rangers aren’t typically interested in acquiring players coming off significant injuries, but Puempel sounds like he’s already almost fully recovered.  He certainly has the tools to be a goal-scorer, so the Rangers may take a close look at him.  They have taken a bunch of players from the OHL in recent years and last used a first-round pick on one in 2008 when they chose Michael Del Zotto.


Season Review:

Breaking Down The Defense >

Breaking Down The Goalies >

Breaking Down The Offense >

Breaking Down The Prospects >

How Three Free Agent Signings In 2007 Have Shaped The Eastern Conference >

Spotlight On Glen Sather >

Spotlight On John Tortorella >


Player Reviews:

Spotlight On Mats Zuccarello >

Spotlight On Brian Boyle >

Spotlight On Matt Gilroy >

Spotlight On Ruslan Fedotenko >

Spotlight On Brandon Prust >

Spotlight On Bryan McCabe >

Spotlight On Alex Frolov >

Spotlight On Michael Del Zotto >

Spotlight On Martin Biron >

Spotlight On Brandon Dubinsky >

Spotlight On Marc Staal >

Spotlight On Steve Eminger >

Spotlight On Henrik Lundqvist >

Spotlight On Wojtek Wolski >

Spotlight On Sean Avery >

Spotlight On Dan Girardi >


Possible First Round Pick:

Zack Phillips >

Sven Bartschi >

Mark Scheifele >

Mika Zibanejad > 

Mark McNeill >

Brandon Saad >

Joel Armia >

Nicklas Jensen >

Alexander Khokhlachev >

Tyler Biggs >

Matt Puempel >



Posted by Kevin Baumer | May 26, 2011 at 11:22 am

E-mail Address:
Type this below: Reload the image

New York Rangers VS Chicago Blackhawks
Wednesday, October 7, 2015

  1 2 3 OT F
Rangers 3 0 0 - 3
Blackhawks 1 1 0 - 2

Blueshirt Bulletin Radio Join us every week!

Powered by Interstellar Bot 3.0.180