How far will the Rangers get this season?

Draft Profile: Victor Rask

Victor Rask (Via

Victor Rask (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…

Victor Rask

HT: 6-2

WT: 194

Pos: C

Shoots: L

Birthday: 3/1/93

Team: Leksand, Sweden

2009-2010 stats: 22g, 19a, 39gp, 35PIM (Leksand, Sweden Jr.)

2010-2011 stats: 5g, 6a, 37gp, 8PIM, -5

2010-2011 playoffs: N/A profile >



The Hockey News: 54

CSS: 12 Midterm Rank: 9 (European)

ISS: 25

TSN: 40 Midterm Rank: 16

TSN (Craig Button): N/A

The Scouting Report: 37 Midterm Rank: 17

Bruins 2011 Draft Watch: 34

Corey Pronman: 41

ESPN: 44


Highlight Reel > N/A


What They’re Saying:

THN – “A player who has been on the radar for a couple of years now, Victor Rask set the bar high in terms of expectations.  That he failed to meet them has hurt his draft ranking.  Rask was ranked as high as fifth by ISS in October, but ran into some problems.  One was the fact he got so little ice time with Leksand of the Swedish League, which stalled his development.  ‘He’s a top-10 talent, but he might go in the second or even third round,’ a scout said.  ‘Expectations got carried away and he didn’t handle it well.’  Playing in the Elite League exposes youngsters to a higher level of play, but being further down the depth chart sometimes stunts their growth.  ‘He’s too good for the junior league and he’s not good enough for the big team, so he really falls into that gap,’ another scout said.  Regardless, Rask’s combination of size and skill is one scouts think will translate well to the NHL.”

The Scouting Report – “What was previously a year under the radar quickly developed into a year to forget for this former “can’t-miss” prospect. Rask had issues with ice-time, attitude, and on-ice performance; factors that have certainly changed a once favourable opinion of him. While there are a lot of negatives about Rask, he does still have an intriguing skill-set which should be enough to secure him a spot in the Top 50. Rask’s great shot and combination of size and vision indicate a lot of potential, but he’s going to need to show more drive and passion if he ever wants to realize any of it.”

Bruins 2011 Draft Watch – “If this guy's life had a soundtrack, it would be the old Power Station 80's hit "Some Like It Hot" because he was definitely sweating when the heat was on! Crumbled under enormous expectations in his draft season, but if there is one legitimate draft value out there it is him. Tremendous upside, but has been a maddening player for scouts to watch this season and we've often heard the frustration. Looked like a first-round pick at times during the Under-18 tourney, but he played the center position and forced the better player (in our view) in Mika Zibanejad to the wing, where he was not as successful. We know that Rask has outstanding puck skills and hockey sense- his skating is average but could get better if he picks up a step and gets a little stronger. When on his game, he makes everyone around him better and slows things down or speeds them up at will. Whomever drafts him in the first round is doing so with the belief in what they saw from him a year ago when he was a dominate junior player with ideal size and some legitimate NHL tools. He didn't get it done this season, but watching him in Germany- he showed the flashes of what made him one of the more talked-about prospects coming in. Now, he has to put it all together. If a club thinks he'll relax and get back to the levels he showed as a 16-year-old, then he's absolutely worth taking a shot at in the first. However, if he slips into the second, he's legitimate value anywhere there.”

Corey Pronman – “Victor Rask came into the season as one of the elite draft prospects in the class, and while his stock has fallen off somewhat, there is still a fair amount to like in his skill set. He's a true plus passer and when he's on his game Rask has the ability to execute dishes that leave observers in awe. Rask is a solid to above-average puck protector who uses his 6'2", 200 lb. frame well to box defenders out and when he's in open space in the offensive zone, it's very hard to get the puck off him. His stick-handling is above-average, and while there are times where he may not look the most coordinated with the puck he has the ability to make quick moves, can bring it up on the rush and make multiple players miss. Despite the notable frame, he excels on the perimeter when he can look his options down and has time to work with. He projects as an average physical player at the next level, but at the Junior level he definitely was hard to handle for the opposition at times and bounced off checks rather easily and looked decent when battling for loose pucks. His skating is fringe, his feet are heavy and the stride mechanics don't look great however he does flash notable agility. Rask's defensive is game is okay, and I have seen him kill penalties with moderate effectiveness. While Rask is a tremendous passer in terms of ability, I'm not sold on the vision and the offensive awareness looks below-average, with Rask at times forcing the wrong decision with the puck or simply not seeing the ice well.”

ESPN – “Victor Rask is working hard but his stock value is still plummeting. After taking a step down to play junior hockey with Leksand, he has scored only four points (2 goals, 2 assists) in nine games.  ‘Victor is on the right track. He's getting quite a bit of ice time and works hard out there,’ says ex NHLer, Tommy Salo, nowadays GM in the Leksand organization.  Scouts who have seen Victor play, however are not too impressed.  ‘Rask might have the right attitude about the situation he's in, but he's not really showing any progress in his development,’ one scout says. ‘Victor was at ninth place in the CSS midterm rankings, but I can see that being dramatically changed, negatively, when the next update is published.’  ‘Victor needs to show his talent at the U18 World Championships in Germany. His performance there will be vital to his ranking in the draft,’ says a second scout.”



Mock Drafts:

Adam Kimelman, – N/A

Mike Morreale, – N/A

Steven Hoffner, – N/A

Deven Persaud, – N/A – N/A

Gary Joyce, ESPN – N/A

Mark Seidel, CBC – N/A

Hockey’s Future – N/A

The Hockey News - 26


Thoughts: Rask’s stock has taken a nose-dive as the season has rolled along, though it hasn’t necessarily been his fault.  Rask played so well that he was moved up from Sweden’s junior league, but he didn’t get enough ice time in the Swedish Elite League.  He clearly has talent and with a long off-season, Rask might be ready to dominate again next year.  He’d make for tremendous value in the second round, but he’s dropped so far this season that the Rangers won’t consider him at No. 15.

The Rangers have demonstrated a strong affinity for Swedish players in recent years and took Jesper Fasth from the Elite League in the sixth round in 2010.


Draft Profiles:

The Last 15 Years Of Pick #15 >

Should The Rangers Draft For Positional Need Or Talent?

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Sven Bartschi >

Mark Scheifele >

Mika Zibanejad > 

Mark McNeill >

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Joel Armia >

Nicklas Jensen >

Alexander Khokhlachev >

Tyler Biggs >

Matt Puempel >

Rickard Rakell >

Mario Lucia >

Tomas Jurco >

Dmitri Jaskin >

Phillip Danault >

Rocco Grimaldi >

Ty Rattie >

Daniel Catenacci >

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Nick Shore >

Stefan Noesen >

Boone Jenner >

Matthew Nieto >

Vincent Trocheck >

Colin Jacobs >

Michael St. Croix >

Seth Ambroz >

Shane Prince >

J.T. Miller >

Nikita Kucherov >

Victor Rask >



Posted by Kevin Baumer | June 18, 2011 at 06:18 pm

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