Look let’s not kid ourselves once we get to the fourth round of the NHL Entry Draft. Expecting anyone to accurately predict who the Rangers select with their final three draft picks is kind of insane. Once you get this deep into the draft you are simply rolling the dice and hoping you hit it.
Sometimes you get lucky and find someone like Ty Ronning in the seven but with 31 teams picking cross your fingers. Instead of trying to fake you, folks, out what I am going to do is pick three possible picks that I like. I am going to pick a forward, defenseman and goalie who the Rangers might like.
The 101st Pick
Jeremi Gerber Left Wing Bern (Swiss): I have this friend who is a big Rangers fan over in Switzerland and he swears by this kid. After watching the tape I see why most don’t rank him higher. This is a kid built for the North American game playing in the Swiss league. A very good skater who plays a physical game and does it well. Excellent in his transition game and like the way he attacks the corners.
Plays with a bit of an edge and a lot of grit. Going to be a good forechecker for someone but is rather thin for the type of game he wants to play. If someone drafts him, expect this kid to play in the CHL next year. A smaller Nino Niederreiter but with the same fire inside. Sorry this was the best video I could find of him
Danila Galenyuk LHD SKA 1946 St. Petersburg (MHL): The Rangers like Swedish forwards and Russian defenders so here is one who slips through the radar. Nothing fancy about his game, in fact, if you are looking for a guy who puts up scoring stats then this is not your prospect. What he is is a quiet steady defensive defender who will chip in the occasional goal.
This is the defender who will give you a solid two minutes on the penalty kill. Galenyuk has very good reads and rarely will get caught out of position. Plays a strong enough defense that his partner can attack knowing Galenyuk has his back. Already has NHL size (6’1 200) at 18 just needs more experience. Draft him and leave him for three-four years before signing.
David Tendeck Goalie Vancouver Giants: Because of Ty Ronning I spend a lot of time watching his team and I just love this kid. This is the goalie who keeps you in games you have no business being in. At first glance, you see a baby-faced kid who you can’t believe has one of the best glove hands in the WHL. His reads are outstanding and if he was on a better team then he would go in the second round for sure.
I would kill to have Benoit Allaire coaching him as there are times when he will make multiple saves and your first move is to watch the replay to see how he did it. He needs to grow as he is a painfully thin 165 on a 6’2 frame. This is a future NHL starter.
The 132nd Pick
Yegor Sokolov Left Wing Cape Breton (QMJHL): Here is a prospect that many had high hopes for when he came over from Russia at 17. Was 21-21-42 on a middle of the pack team. Not the first Russian to come over and struggle in his first season in the QMJHL. Huge kid at 6’4 223 and boy is he tough to move off the puck. Has a nasty heavy shot that frustrates goalies.
A typical big kid who needs work on his skating and in his case defense. But if you want someone who is strong in a puck possession system then this is worth the gamble. Pretty sure that after a year in North America he has adjusted well and I expect him to make a lot of noise next season.
Dawson Barteaux LHD Red Deer: Under late bloomer, you will find this defender’s picture. Came into the WHL as a first-round pick but did not live up to expectations. Still, Brent Sutter saw enough of him to trade for him and use him in his top four defense. Was first thought of as a stay-at-home defender but has shown some offense too.
Rail thin so he needs to hit the weight room and with these late round picks skating is an issue. Good work ethic so once drafted one can expect him to make vast improvements to his game.
Max Paddock Goalie Regina; Toss out what you saw in the Memorial Cup finals as the Regina Pats don’t make it to the final without Paddock. He doesn’t even turn 18 until Friday of this week. Unranked by CSB until their final ranking where he was 222nd among North American goalies.
Won 10 out of his last 11 starts helping Regina turn around what was looking to be a really weak season. This is really one of the youngest kids in the draft Toothpick thin at all of 152 lbs. Plays like an acrobat with a solid glove hand. Will need work on positioning but we expect him to be one of the top WHL goalies next season. This is no reach pick.
The 163rd PickRiley Hughes Right Wing Sioux Falls (USHL): OK this one is even younger than Max Paddock with a birthday of June 27th. Jeff Gorton and Gordie Clark didn’t have to travel far to find this young prospect. Hughes was a high schooler in Boston where he like Chris Kreider put up decent numbers. Has good hands, smart hockey IQ, and on-ice vision.
Plays an attacking brand of hockey but needs to learn how to win the puck battles. This one will take a while to get to the NHL, signed to play in the USHL next season then Northeastern of Hockey East for the 2019-2020 season. He is still growing but we see a smaller Chris Kreider here so worth the risk.Mason Snell LHD Wellington (OJHL): This a prospect coming out of a very good league who chose not to play in the OHL in order to attend Penn State next year. Good skater who is excellent under pressure. Can either carry the puck or make the first pass out of the defensive zone. Is going to be a good two-way defender in the long run. Was one of the top defenders in the RBC Cup which is the Canadian National championship for Junior “A”.
Not overly physical which is why his stock is not higher. Penn State is up and coming NCAA program so they have been recruiting very well. This one give the four years and time in the AHL to get a top-four defender.
Dávid Hrenák Goalie St. Cloud St: Totally late blooming Slovakian goalie who had a solid freshman year at St. Cloud St where he led them to a number one seed in the NCAA tournament. Was 14-6-2 with a 2.11 GAA and 0.919 SV with three shutouts. Won’t mention who is idols are since they are former Devils and Islander goalies. Like the way he challenges shooters.
Positions well and did not show any kind of jitters in the NCAA tournament. Has represented Slovakia in several international tournaments. An older prospect so he might not need his remaining three seasons at St. Cloud St.