Rangers draft recap, Day 1

By Brandon LeBourveau
The Rangers dealt their 1st rounder (10th overall) earlier in the season but still had a very decent selection at #33 overall, courtesy of that same blockbuster deal with the Florida Panthers that included Pavel Bure.

When they picked, players like Jiri Hudler, Vladislav Evseev, Daniel Fernholm, Jarret Stoll, Petr Kanko and Joakim Lindstrom were still available. Those were the top six players left and the Rangers would have the opportunity to select any one of them. But the Rangers took Lee Falardeau, a future third line center when potential second liners, and perhaps superstars, such as Jiri Hudler, Vladislav Evseev and Joakim Lindstrom were still on the board. Lee Falardeau will play in the NHL, not doubt. But the Rangers don’t need any more third liners. Falardeau does have impressive size (6’5 205 lbs.) but he lacks the offensive skills to play on one of the top two lines. The Rangers have missed the playoffs the past five seasons. They should stop playing it safe and take some risks to get them back up to respectability. Drafting Jiri Hudler or Vladislav Evseev would have been another step in the right direction. Glen Sather was actually quoted as saying that ‘We’re happy to select him, we had him ranked much higher than this.’

Jarret Stoll wound up being selected a few picks later by Edmonton, while Joakim Lindstrom ended up in Columbus a few after that. Jiri Hudler and Vladislav Evseev fell to the end of the second round where they were scooped up by Detroit and Boston, respectively.

Daniel Fernholm, a defensive from Sweden with excellent size and upside but injured for the majority of the past to seasons, was somehow still on the board. He was still on the board when the Rangers were on the clock again, this time at 75th overall.

Glen Sather dealt the selection to the Ottawa Senators in return for the Senators’ 3rd rounder (81st overall) and their 4th rounder (127th overall) and took forward Marcus Jonasen. Jonasen has good size at 6’4 and 220 lbs. He played for Vasteras in a Swedish junior league last season and shoots left.

It’s going to take a few years before either of these two prospects are ready to play in the NHL. Falardeau will return to Michigan State University for at least two more seasons of college hockey, possibly even finishing out his career there before moving on to the pro ranks. Jonasen possibly could move up to the Swedish Elite League next season where it would be a big step in the right direction for his development. At least another two or three years in Sweden for him before he makes the jump to North America.

The Rangers, as of this moment, have selections in all of the remaining rounds. Here are some players that still are on the board and would make excellent selections. They are in no particular order.

  • Daniel Fernholm, Defenseman, Djurgardens (Sweden)
  • Patrick Thoresen, Forward, Moncton Wild Cats (QMJHL)
  • Brandon Segal, Right Wing, Calgary Hitmen (WHL)
  • Alexander Shinin, Defenseman, Chelyabinsk (Russia)
  • Martin Cizek, Defenseman, Slavia Praha (Czech Jrs.)
  • Jan Kubista, Right Wing, Czech Republic
  • Lance Monych, Right Wing, Brandon Wheat Kings (WHL)
  • James Wisniewski, Defenseman, Plymouth Whalers (OHL)
  • Patrik Bartschi, Center/Wing, Kloten (Switzerland)
  • Marian Havel, Forward, Vancouver Giants (WHL)
  • Jiri Cetkovsky, Center, Czech Republic
  • Sean Collins, Left Wing, University of New Hampshire
  • Patrick Jarrett, Center, Owen Sound Attack (OHL)
  • Maxim Sheviev, Center, Elektrostal (Russia)