The New York Rangers recent long run through the 2014 postseason took many surprise. A solid team, well coached to highlight its strengths, New York's playoff success was a group effort. The team's top marquee player, Rick Nash, was not very effective during the playoffs, however, the team's speed and signature defense caused opponents quite a bit of trouble.
When the New York Rangers drafted Anthony Duclair in the third round of the draft last summer, they were hoping that the young Quebec Remparts left wing would bounce back from a mediocre sophomore season and become a really good prospect. But even the most optimistic scout could not have predicted how successful Duclair would be in his 2013-14 season.
The New York Rangers have had a big turnover in their top prospects over the last few years, as more and more young players have cracked their NHL roster. Chris Kreider, who has been a top prospect since he was drafted in 2009, has graduated after being the franchise's best prospect for the last three years.
It seems like a distant memory now, but just six or seven years ago, the New York Rangers had few homegrown players on their NHL roster. Big name free agents were the norm for this original six team, with few of the team's prospects ever appearing in more than one or two games on Broadway.
Of the 30 prospects in the New York Rangers' system, 19 are professional hockey players as of the beginning of the 2013-14 season. With only five prospects selected by New York in the 2013 NHL Draft and four in 2012, there are fewer younger players in the system than there have been in many years.
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