Rangers head into 2021 NHL Draft with plenty of options

When the NHL roster freeze ended Thursday afternoon, it was quieter than anticipated, however the Rangers have been one of a couple of groups to make choices forward of the 2021 entry draft that begins Friday evening.

The Rangers announced a six-year deal with gritty forward Barclay Goodrow, whom the group acquired from the Lightning lower than every week earlier in trade for a 2022 seventh-round decide. Taking into consideration how lively Chris Drury has been this offseason, together with his transfer to unload Brett Howden to Vegas this previous weekend, it feels as if the Rangers’ new president and common supervisor is working towards one thing larger.

Also, the Rangers plan to maneuver on from veteran defenseman Brendan Smith, based on The Post’s Larry Brooks. Smith is a pending unrestricted free agent after 5 seasons in a depth position.

While Drury continues to form the Blueshirts’ lineup forward of the 2021-22 season, the draft presents a slew of alternatives. The Rangers maintain 9 picks, the fifteenth general choice within the Friday’s opening spherical and eight extra in Rounds 2-7 on Saturday.

Chris Drury likely has big plans for the 2021 NHL Draft weekend.
Chris Drury probably has huge plans for the 2021 NHL Draft weekend.

As tight-lipped as Drury was throughout his pre-expansion draft media availability, he made it identified the Rangers entrance workplace is leaving no stone unturned in the case of options to make the workforce higher. One of these options is actually using that first-round decide.

“That’s a piece we have,” Drury stated Monday. “If we can make the team better with moving that pick — or another pick or players — we’ll look at everything.”

Since hypothesis is thru the roof on the likelihood of Drury crafting a package deal deal that appeases the Sabres’ absurd asking worth for vexed star center Jack Eichel, the Rangers’ No. 15 decide (which is listed as 16 as a result of of the Coyotes’ forfeited choice) is assured to be half of the equation.

According to Brooks, nevertheless, the Rangers have nonetheless not acquired entry to Eichel’s medical information.

The Rangers have one first-round decide, two third-rounders, three within the fourth spherical and one in every of the fifth, sixth and seventh rounds.

Last 12 months’s draft was the beginning of the Rangers’ goal to turn into “harder to play against,” and that mantra is anticipated to drive their participant picks once more. Former GM Jeff Gorton proved that bulking up was a precedence when he traded up on two separate events in 2020, within the first spherical for 6-foot-2 defenseman Braden Schneider (No. 19) and within the second for 6-3 winger William Cuylle (No. 60).

The Rangers didn’t take a middle final 12 months till the third spherical, however it’s now the clear place that wants strengthening. Filip Chytil is the franchise’s solely heart draftee who performed a significant position on the workforce final season. Morgan Barron, who performed in 5 video games in 2020-21, is on the cusp of breaking onto the scene full time, and the Cornell product is anticipated to get some appears on the wing.

At No. 15, the consensus top-three facilities of the 2021 draft — Matthew Beniers, Kent Johnson and Mason McTavish — in all probability received’t be accessible to the Rangers.

Aatu Räty out of the Finnish Liiga, Russian Fyodor Svechkov and Cole Sillinger of the USHL usually tend to be there. There’s additionally ahead Matthew Coronato, who is thought for his palms and is coming off an 85-point season with the Chicago Steel within the USHL. The New York native is dedicated to Harvard for the 2021-22 season, as Adam Fox was when he was drafted in 2016.

At 6-2, 185 kilos, Räty suits the big-bodied development the Rangers are on within the draft. He is taken into account a flexible ahead, however his inventory went down after he struggled to provide for the Finnish Liiga’s Karpat final season. Svechkov is a defensive-minded heart with an incredible upside, which may very well be attractive to the Rangers. In 2020-21, Sillinger put up huge numbers for the USHL’s Sioux Falls Stampede with 46 factors (24 objectives, 22 assists) in simply 31 video games. The Columbus, Ohio, native’s wrist shot is described by EliteProspects as “potent,” and he’s thought-about to be a real offensive risk.

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