There was none of the usual flurry of trade activity at the New York Rangers table during the 2013 NHL Draft. The Rangers went into the draft with only five mid-to late-round selections, and while New York would have loved to move up into the top two rounds, the asking price was too high.
It was trades for NHL players Rick Nash and Ryan Clowe which led to the Rangers waiting until the third round for their first pick in the draft. New York had given up their first round selection (the 19th overall) for Nash and its second round selection (number 49 overall) for Clowe. The Clowe deal also sent Florida's third-round pick (the first in that round, 62nd overall) to San Jose, but the Rangers still had three selections in that round, including the 65th, 75th, and 80th picks in the draft.
In total, New York selected five players in the 2013 NHL draft, including three forwards (all with its third round picks), a defenseman and a goalie.
Adam Tambellini, C, Surrey Eagles (BCHL)
Drafted: 3rd Round, 65th Overall
Height: 6'2 Weight: 169 lbs
With a pick obtained from the Nashville Predators in 2012, the Rangers selected the son of former NHL player and former Edmonton Oilers general manager Steve Tambellini. Adam Tambellini has a big frame, good hands, and can skate. Although he will need to get much stronger to play at the professional level, the younger Tambellini has a good hockey IQ and is a potential NHL power forward.
His offensive production this past season with the BCHL Vernon Vipers and Surrey Eagles (36 goals and 29 assists in 52 games) showed a giant leap forward in development. Although he was suffering from a leg injury when drafted in June, Tambellini should be ready for the start of the 2013-14 hockey season, when he will don the uniform of the University of North Dakota. He is expected to develop for at least three years in collegiate before beginning his professional career.
Hockey's Future shot video of Tambellini's media scrum at the 2013 NHL Combine, a conversation that was captured in this HF video.
Pavel Buchnevich, LW, Almaz Cherepovets (MHL)
Drafted: 3rd Round, 75th Overall
Height: 6'1 Weight: 176 lbs
With the 75th overall selection, obtained from Columbus as part of the Nash trade, the Rangers selected Pavel Buchnevich, who very easily could be the jewel of this year's draft for New York. The Rangers had been watching Buchnevich for a couple of seasons in international play and believe that, if he had been playing in North American, he could have gone in the first round of the draft. With an outstanding shot, excellent hockey sense, and offensive gifts with the puck, Buchnevich showcased his skills in the U18 WJCs (five goals, six assists in seven games), where he tied for second in overall points. In the MHL last season, Buchnevich posted eight goals and 15 assists in 24 games. He also appeared in 12 KHL games where he recorded two points.
Expected to play in the KHL for the next two seasons, the Rangers will be monitoring Buchnevich's progress over that time.
The Rangers selected forward Anthony Duclair, one of the younger players in this year's draft, in the third round. Much was expected of Duclair this past season after a stellar showing in his first CHL campaign, but an early injury slowed him, and he was inconsistent for most of the remaining 2012-13 season. A good skater with above average puck skills, Duclair was able to post a plus-23 rating during the regular season, as well as good numbers (50 points in 55 games). Now healthy, Duclair is a high risk, high reward player who could be something special if his game matures as he does.
Ryan Graves, D, PEI Rocket (QMJHL)
Drafted: 4th Round, 110th Overall
Height: 6'4 Weight: 220 lbs
Ryan Graves has excellent size and strength, as well as good hockey sense. He is one of the players who grew stronger and stronger on the ice as the 2012-13 season went on and finished with 16 points and 90 penalty minutes in 68 games. Expected to be a defensive defenseman as a professional, Graves needs to work on his skating and positioning in the coming years. Not afraid to drop the gloves or push people around on the ice, Graves's game is a work in progress.
Hockey's Future shot video of Duclair and Graves at the 2013 NHL Draft. You can view their extended remarks in this HF video.
With their last selection in the draft, the Rangers picked netminder Mackenzie Skapski. Not drafted in 2012, Skapski took Kootenay on his back during the 2012-13 season and led the team to the playoffs. A late-round selection and a longshot to make the NHL, Skapski has good size and lateral movement, but he tends to be inconsistent in staying square and challenging the shooter. However, he posted seven shutouts this past regular season (tied for the WHL lead in this category) and a 34-25-1 record. Skapski could wind up being a steal for the Blueshirts in this position.