After the NHL trade deadline, the NHL draft is the most active day in the entire hockey season. With so many assets flying around, there will be every opportunity for the New York Rangers to improve.
The NHL draft symbolizes hope. As the life’s blood of the league, the draft is where every great story begins. Even for those players who do not hear their name called, their path begins with the commissioner walking to the podium to announce the pick. For the first time in a long time, the Rangers are a team without a direction. Outside of Henrik Lundqvist, there really is no clear vision as to what New York will be next season.
However, being that the Rangers currently hold eight draft picks in the first three rounds of the draft. On top of the picks, the team also has several players that could be used to acquire further draft capital. The logic simply being, the best teams are assembled through the draft and developed over time. Plugging in holes for the roster through free agency or trades works, but it does not make a team.
When the Rangers were at their best during the Lundqvist era, it was through homegrown talent. The draft presents an opportunity for New York to restock their empty prospect pool. The team’s success was subsidized through trades to improve the quality of the team. All of those trades added up over time and set New York back.
General Manager Jeff Gorton holds the fate of the Rangers in the balance. At the draft, the general manager can speed up the rebuild or set the team back.