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NHL Draft Day 2 Recap
Rangers make 5 picks and trade Evgeny Grachev

UPDATE: GM Glen Sather told the media that Evgeny Grachev requested a move as the Russian winger wasn't pleased with the Rangers' system.  Sather said he shopped Grachev for over a year and that St. Louis was the only interested team.  This obviously makes the trade easier to understand and if Grachev was not content with the Rangers it makes sense for all to move on.  It's interesting that the Blues were the only team interested in what was widely considered to be a top prospect.  Perhaps Grachev is considered to be more trouble than he's worth.

Sather also said the Rangers gave qualifying offers to all of their RFAs except Matt Gilroy, though the team does want Gilroy back at a lower price.  Gilroy rejected the team's initial offer and will test the free agent market.  Sather also indicated that deals with the team's other RFAs could take some time because the team wants to "keep cap space open."

EARLIER: In their eagerness to acquire another draft pick, the Rangers dealt 2008 third-round pick Evgeny Grachev to the St. Louis Blues for pick #72 in the third round.

With the pick, the Blueshirts took high schooler Steven Fogarty.

The move came as a bit of a shock; although everyone knew the Rangers wanted to get back into the draft, Grachev wasn’t thought to be trade bait.

The 21-year-old burst onto the scene with a 40 goal, 40 assist season in 2008-2009 for the OHL’s Brampton Battalion.  Grachev arrived in Hartford the next season and many thought he was poised to be a 30-goal scorer in the NHL before long, but Grachev’s development stalled mightily in the AHL and he struggled to find his offensive game.

This year, Grachev showed signs of improvement and posted 16 goals and 22 assists in 73 games. Even more encouraging, Grachev was a team-leading plus-21.  His offensive output was still disappointing, but Grachev appeared on the cusp of fighting for a third or fourth-line checking role with the Blueshirts. 

Even if he never became a big-time scorer, Grachev seemed far enough along to ensure that he had an NHL future.

Apparently New York was concerned with Grachev’s attitude and he may have had some character issues, so Grachev was dispatched out of town to St. Louis.

The future of Fogarty will be interesting to monitor, but giving up on Grachev, who still could have big things ahead of him, is a bit of a puzzling decision.

Reaction to the Grachev trade:

Corey Pronman – “Dont like the trade in the least. RT @will_rennie@coreypronman is the Grachev trade bad worse or awful for NYR?”

“Hes a winger, but a hell of a 3rd liner. RT @sctdog@coreypronman Grachev = 3rd line center or banger/energy type wing”

“Saw Grachev this year and even if he doesnt score, hes a player. Guy is a huge forward who can move and has a fine defensive game.”

“Grachev's offensive potential has lowered, but hes still a fine prospect. Top Russian prospect stocks lowering left and right.”

ESPN NHL Draft Blog – “Blues' pick-up of Grachev is solid. Big body forward.Nt shy of contact. Skating gives big upside. Slow to develop w/NYR. Former CHL ROY.”


A look back at the Rangers' five day two selections:


Round 3, Pick #72 - Steven Fogarty, C, Edina High School

Fogarty, 18, stands 6-2, 195 lbs and is slated to play for the Chicago Steel of the USHL next year.  After that, Fogarty, a center, may move on to Notre Dame.  He tallied 23 goals and 17 assists in 23 games for Edina High School this season.  Fogarty appears to be a long-term project, but has considerable offensive upside. Draft Profile >

CSS Rank: 90 Midterm Rank: 132

2010-2011 stats: 23g, 17a, 24gp, 12PIM

What They’re Saying About Fogarty:

Bruins 2011 Draft Watch – “Underrated and skilled centerman with size makes his B2011DW debut on this post and has some real interesting long-term potential. The proverbial rink rat who eats, sleeps, breathes hockey- Fogarty finished his HS career at Edina and then jumped to the Chicago Steel of the USHL, where he's been drinking from the fire hose of late. You have to credit the kid for risking his draft stock a little, which was pretty high given how well he played as a senior, by going to the USHL where his lack of strength and defensive awareness is being exposed a bit on a weak team and against older, stronger players. Still, there is a lot to like about this playmaking pivot who has a long stride and gets up the ice quickly. He has soft hands and superb vision for finding teammates in open ice. His work ethic is laudable- he wants to play and loves to compete; goes above and beyond to make himself better and put himself into situations that will put him in position to improve. He's raw and needs significant work, but will spend the entire 2011-12 season in the USHL. At 6-1, 195, he's got the physical tools to be a solid NHL prospect and watch for him to go relatively high (3rd-4th rounds) in the draft.”

Minnesota Hockey Prospects – “Plays a physical brand of hockey, grinding it out on the boards and getting dirty in front of the net. Bullies his way around the ice, excelling at playing a power game. Has the ability to finish in tight and pick up his fair share of garbage goals. Has pretty good hands for a big guy and can stick handle with the best of them. passing could use a bit more touch but this is not a glaring weakness. Does not have elite speed but is a mule on his skates.  Fogarty is a balanced two-way player that is willing to play blue-color hockey. Should get more attention as the draft nears.”

Reaction to the Steven Fogarty pick:

Corey Pronman – “Fogarty I was underwhelmed with in viewings. Fine size, but the offensive skills are barely average if that.”


 Round 4, Pick #105, Michael St. Croix, C, Edmonton (WHL)

Click here for a full draft profile of St. Croix >

Reaction to the St. Croix pick:

Corey Pronman - “I'm a big pusher of Michael St. Croix, love the puck skills and hockey sense.”

ESPN NHL Draft Blog – “Small center produced for EDM of the WHL. Needs to improve speed/quickness for size, but pays a price to score."


 Round 5, Pick #134 - Shane McColgan, RW, Kelowna (WHL) Profile >

CSS Rank: 125 Midterm Rank: 102

Ranked #52 by Corey Pronman

2010-2011 stats: 21g, 45a, 67gp, 62PIM, +3

Playoffs: 8g, 11a, 10gp, 8PIM

What They're Saying:

The Hockey News - "Diminuitive agitator hit a scoring drought, but reversed in playoffs." (Ranked 97th)

Bruins 2011 Draft Watch - "Undersized winger (5-8, 168- don't believe his listed 5-11 height on Hockey DB) from SoCal was seen as a potential top-10 coming into the season, but got off to a terrible start and never recovered in the court of public opinion. Will NHL scouts view him differently. One such talent evaluator expressed concern at McColgan's small frame and the fact that the kid likely has little to no room to grow. Tremendous skating and hands; erupts into overdrive in just a few strides and carves the ice with his edges like a maestro. Plays bigger than his size and has an edge to him even if often physically overmatched. The bad news for McColgan is that his production didn't take off after posting 25 goals and 69 points last year as a rookie. Illness started him slowly and though he recovered and heated up down the stretch with fellow mighty mite Zach Franko, it may not be enough for him to recoup a top-60 selection."

The Scouting Report – “The diminutive McColgan has been very effective in two Western Hockey League seasons, scoring at nearly a point per game pace. McColgan sees the ice well, has great hands, and definitely isn’t afraid to go to the dirty areas. The big question on everyone’s mind is whether or not he will be able to play his style at the pro level. The 5-9 McColgan hasn’t let his size hold him back yet, as he has proven a willingness to battle with any player in the WHL while generally staying healthy. If he can get his game to the next level, he could be a big draft day steal.” (Ranked #65) 

Reaction to the Shane McCoglan pick:

ESPN NHL Draft Blog – “Small, slippery forward. Needs to improve strength.”

Mike Hume, ESPN – “Rangers' pick McColgan is small, but has a lot of skill. This late it's a good gamble. Can line him up with Bourque for Oompa Loompa Line”

Corey Pronman – “McColgan's skill level had him touted as a high first rounder before the draft season started. Quite a fall.”

Steve Zipay – “Small, skilled center from Kelowna Rockets, big playoff run, California kid”


Round 5, Pick #136 - Samuel Noreau, D, Baie-Comeau (QMJHL) Profile >

CSS Rank: 183 Midterm Rank: 129

2010-2011 stats: 5g, 5a, 67gp, 141PIM, -13

 What They're Saying:

Bruins 2011 Draft Watch – “Noreau is a 6-5, 215-pound tough-as-nails punisher who doesn't have much in the way of high-end skill, but has the size and nastiness to be a shutdown guy in time. He's not a bad skater, though needs to work on his lateral movement and pivots/turns like many big players on D. This dude can really fight, too. With his size and strength, he ragdolls guys and stands in and throws them against the tougher comers/enforcers in the Q. (Noreau is #8 in the red and white)  He gets very little notice on a poor team, but stay-at-home guys with legitimate toughness are always in demand on NHL teams' bottom pairing, and Noreau is someone who, with the right amount of patience and developmental time in the minors, could evolve into a functional 6th/7th in time.” 

Round 6, Pick #172, Peter Ceresnak, D, Trencin Jr. (Slovakia-Jr.) Profile >

CSS Rank: 35 Midterm Rank: 24 (European)

2010-2011 stats: 1g, 3a, 23gp, 16PIM

What They're Saying:

Bruins 2011 Draft Watch – “Big defender is a stay-at-home guy and more of a poor man's Milan Jurcina than anything else. He is fairly mobile in that he doesn't have great speed, but moves well laterally and can lay guys out with a pretty decent hip check. He staples opponents to the walls and has a long wingspan/active stick. He's got to work on his gap control and there isn't much offensive upside with this guy. Ceresnak got virtually no playing time at the WJC, which was disappointing, especially since Slovakia was one of the poorer teams there and he wasn't given much of a shot even after Martin Marincin got the boot for his elbow on U.S. forward Jason Zucker.”

Reaction to the Peter Ceresnak pick:

ESPN NHL Draft Blog – “Big d-man who has played at international tourneys and showed promise and upside. 6-3, 209 lbs.”

Corey Pronman – “Ceresnak Ive heard conflicting stuff on him. Some think hes a low-tier defensive defenseman prospect, some no prospect him.”


Posted by Kevin Baumer | June 25, 2011 at 01:34 pm

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