Prospect Park: Stop The NHL Draft I Want To Get Off

In Blueshirt Bulletin Main Blog, News, Prospect Park by Jess Rubenstein

Joel Farabee (USA NTDP)

So by the time most of you read this, we will be two days away from the 2018 NHL Entry Draft. Are we getting to the point where you just want the Rangers to make their picks yet? I know I sure can’t wait for the first round to be over.

It gets kind of old to see so many trade rumors or suggested possible selections for the Rangers. OK call me frustrated but I really wish people who play with trade rumors would take the time to honestly think things through. Put it this way if you would not want the Rangers to make a bad trade what makes you think the other team wants one too?

Trades are supposed to be attempts by both teams to improve themselves (unless you are the Montreal Canadians). I will be the first to admit that I made a trade offer right here on this page.

I was willing (and still am) to offer up the 9th, 28th, Libor Hajek and the rights to the RFA of their choice to Ottawa for Erik Karlsson. In hindsight, the offering of Hajek is, in fact, breaking one of those trade rules. One should never inflate the value of those you want to get rid of and I did with Hajek.

So let’s change directions and keep the pick and draft someone. The majority of the experts have the Rangers picking Oliver Wahlstrom but I just do not see that happening. Nothing against Wahlstrom who is an outstanding prospect but the one area where he struggles is he can’t create his own offense.

Wahlstrom needs a playmaker to create for him which makes him suspect for a puck possession type system. Wahlstrom does project to be a first-line right wing but is he a player the Rangers could build around? Just cannot see him fitting in David Quinn’s system.

Sure it would great if the Rangers were able to draft Brady Tkachuk but be serious and ask if you honestly think he would fall that far? The more I ask around the more I keep hearing how the Rangers are looking for players who will fit a puck possession game.

Jeff Gorton reached for Lias Andersson last year and gambled on Sean Day the year before that. I say he does it again with the ninth pick and selects Joel Farabee. Farabee makes a lot of sense if you look at the biggest of pictures. Number one this is a player that David Quinn recruited to play for him at Boston University so why not start here?

Second Farabee was also a teammate of Wahlstrom but here are some of the differences. For starters, Farabee plays a full 200-foot game which is a must-have in a puck possession system. While Wahlstrom was the leading scorer for Team USA, it was Farabee who was the captain. Farabee also played in all situations something Wahlstrom didn’t.

Yes, Wahlstrom is going to be an elite scorer but he is one-dimensional whereas Farabee will play in every situation. I want a leader, a guy who can score and create his own offense. I want a guy who is going to show up in the biggest of games and I believe that to be Farabee.

K’Andre Miller (USA Hockey)

Let’s go to 26 and if he is there then I grab defenseman K’Andre Miller. Miller is a 6’3 200 lefthanded defense who people compare to the Ranger’s Brady Skeji. A smart puck-carrying defender who has great skating skills and can read the ice very well. Hard not to like someone who models his game after Nashville’s Roman Josi or Columbus’s Seth Jones.

Miller is going to play at Wisconsin who is coached by former Ranger Tony Granato. Granato is the right guy to prepare Miller for the NHL and playing in the Big 12 will expose him to high-level talent.

I picked this clip because this is a barely 18 Miller scoring twice against Ferris State.

Isac Lundestrom (Lulea Hockey)

That leaves us 28 and if the Rangers do in fact keep all three picks then call this a hunch but Isac Lundestrom of Lulea in Sweden. His stock fell among the European skaters in the final NHL CSB but this is a player who if you like Lias Andersson then you will like him. While many can’t figure out whether Lundestrom is a top-six prospect, I don’t have the same problem.

I see a prospect who a coach can play all three forward positions and get the job done. Yes, his game needs polish but considering he has been playing against adults the last two seasons then no worries. Lundestrom has played on all of Sweden’s national junior teams so he is used to playing in big games.

He plays a two-way game and does it with speed, can score from anywhere at any time. The best compliment I heard about him is that “he is a coach’s problem solver, plug him in any spot.”

Not going to worry about his numbers as I believe they will improve over time. Leave him in Sweden for a couple more years and you get a solid player.

We will play with the other rounds tomorrow.