Friday night has come and gone with the Rangers making their three selections in the first round of the 2018 NHL Entry Draft. And of course, it would not be the Rangers if they did not leave their fans angry/confused/happy with those they selected. But now we are onto Saturday and the rest of the Entry Draft.
Round two will show the Rangers still trying to find players who will fit in with new coach David Quinn’s puck-possession system. First, at 38 the Rangers very much reach for a huge 6’3 center named McBain is very much a risk here as others will be seen as more talented but he is a better fit for the Rangers.
McBain is a Boston College commit who plays a good two-way game with excellent vision on the ice. I like him because he models his play after Ryan Getzlaf but with better offense. Good hands and works his butt off at both ends of the ice. Needs to improve his skating stride and first step but that will come.
At 48, we still like Slava Demin of the Wenatchee Wild, a 6’2 200 lb. lefthanded defender. Demin is a solid two-way defender who does all the little things you want to see from a defender. Good positioning on defense knows when to jump in on the attack, plays a physical game and rarely makes mistakes.
Heading to play for the University of Denver where he will fit in perfectly. If he played in the WHL then he would have been a first-round pick.
Heading into the third at 70 the Rangers are going to toss a serious curve to their fans when they select Nando Eggenberger of HC Davos (Swiss). This is a prospect who fell backward after the 2016-2017
season but then rebounded in the second half of this season. 6’2 195, a super strong attacker who can overpower anyone in the Swiss NLA and is only 18. His skating is going to fool a lot of people because he is faster than most think.
This is a solid two-way player who will be a top six player. Nobody likes getting into puck battles with him because of his strength, ideal for a puck possession system as he is next to impossible to move off the puck. Outstanding on defense, will be one of the top penalty killers down the road. Just needs the experience and time to fully develop.
Still, in the third round at 88, the Rangers will go small by selecting 6′ left winger Milos Roman of the Vancouver Giants. Roman missed a lot of time in the second half due to an injury
but returned for the playoffs and did well. Skiller winger who can score or set up, Roman is an excellent puck-handler who sees the ice very well. Outstanding on the forecheck, the only knock on Roman is that he gives the perception that he doesn’t like the physical game.
Before his injury was paired with Ty Ronning and the duo had instant chemistry, worth the pick and risk.
At 101 in the fourth round, the Rangers go with a goalie taking David Tendeck of the Vancouver Giants. Tendeck was a goalie I got to see a ton of and if not for him then the Giants don’t make the playoffs. This kid is a gymnast on skates the way he defends. Fast glove, has no fear of attacking skaters to cut down on the angles. He looks like he is too thin but he moves like a cat in net.
This is a starting goalie for the NHL.
With the 132nd pick (fifth round), the Rangers head back to Europe for Albin Eriksson of Skellefteå AIK in the SHL. Eriksson is a monster of a 6’4 205 forward who plays both sides but is a project. Is a good skater for a big player and has a good grasp of the fundamentals. His offense needs to catch up to his defense but if he starts out as a defensive forward then worth it.
Will need to add a bit of a snarl to his game or others will take advantage of his “nice guy” personality. saw that someone compared him to Wayne Simmonds. Leave him in Sweden for three years and see what happens.
And with their final pick of the draft, at 163, the Rangers select Brodi Stuart of the Kamloops Blazers. Stuart is a smaller right wing who makes one think of a smaller version of Mats Zuccarello as, despite his 5’10 170 frames, this is one tough customer. Very much built to play the puck possession game, Stuart needs to improve his overall game by hitting the weight room.
Worth the risk in the sixth round.