So with the first round of the 2018 NHL Entry draft finished, the Rangers still have seven selections remaining. Two each in the second and third rounds with one in the fourth, fifth and sixth rounds. Now the fun part begins as the Rangers start going “Best Player Available” regardless of position.
Originally was going to do both the second and third rounds together but want to offer other options in each round. So with that said here is hoping that some of these players do fall to the Rangers.The Rangers are going to look for some righthanded defenders in this draft so at 39 why not Jeff Woo of the Moose Jaw Warriors? Woo was hurt for most of his draft year and if he is here is a steal. A first-round talent who is not the biggest dog in the park (6′ 200), Woo is above average defensively. You will like that his zone reads are outstanding and that he communicates with his defensive partner to limit mistakes.
Not afraid to pinch down the wall to keep the puck in the offensive zone. Woo loves the physical contact and does a great job protecting his goalie. On offensive, his game is seen as under-rated and will catch up to his defense. Ranger fans will love this kid if they are able to steal him.
Other OptionsRyan McLeod (C/LW): plays for the Mississauga Steelheads in the OHL. Brother of New Jersey’s Michael is coming off a 26-44-70 in 68 games season. More likely to wind up on the wing than remain a center. He has a much higher CSB ranking (16) but nobody says why he would fall to the second round. Still, if he is there then grab him.
Jacob Bernard-Docker (RHD)- Who you are saying? He played in the AJHL which is Junior “A” and he is planning on attending North Dakota. A righthanded defender who sky-rocketed up the charts with a solid second half. A very offensive-minded defender (20-21-41), JBD has a nasty shot that he keeps close to the ice but has the firepower to it. Is one of the smarter defenders in the draft, great vision and reaction times.
Had he played in the WHL would have been a sure first-round draft pick. Plays a good defensive game despite being known as an offensive prospect.At 48. you know the Rangers and their love of Swedish players right? Try this one, Albin Eriksson, a 6’4 205 17-year-old. Eriksson is a rising prospect playing for Skellefteå AIK in the SHL. Now Eriksson played most of the year with their junior team but got in 17 games with the parent team. This is one you sit back and allow to grow in Sweden as he is dripping in potential.
For a 6’4 kid, his strength is his skating but he has a knack for scoring as he scored 22 in 38 games at the junior level. The stuff I keep hearing is he is going to force them to keep him at the parent team level next season. This is one taking the risk on if you are wanting raw talent.
Here is another player you might not have heard of Slava Demin who plays for Wenatchee in the BCHL. Don’t let the name fool you as this is a 6’2 lefthanded defender from Santa Clara Ca. Demin fell in the rankings during the second half but the player he is most compared to is Nashville’s, Roman Josi.Slava Demin was a second-team BCHL All-Star like JBD is playing Junior “A” to attend college. If he played in the WHL then you have heard his name on many occasions. A good defender whose offense is catching up to his defense. Solid vision and excellent IQ. Still has some raw work in his game (shot needs work as does skating).
Will play for the University of Denver.
Cole Fonstad (C/LW) is a sleeper pick as he is a personal favorite. Undersized at 5’11 but he plays like he is 6’3 as he plays the entire 200 feet. Love his sneaky first step that is going to catch players off guard. His compete level is one that you fall in love with as he never takes a shift off no matter what is asked of him. He makes you think of Jordan Eberle with his ability to finish.
Plays for Prince Albert in the WHL and was 21-52-73 despite his smaller size. This is a player who you toss the ranking out because of his heart and desire. If you love Mats Zuccarello then you will love this kid.