The New York Rangers currently have only four prospects playing major junior hockey. This is the lowest number of prospects assigned to the CHL in recent memory and reflects both a switch in drafting tendencies, as well as the fact the Rangers had a combined nine draft picks in 2012 and 2013.
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.
The QMJHL may not be traditionally viewed as a fertile development ground for defensemen. But recent history has proved the opposite, with the league producing NHL talent such as Florida's Dmitri Kulikov and Pittsburgh's Kris Letang as well as top prospects like Montreal's Nathan Beaulieu and Phoenix's Brandon Gormley.
For the first time in many years, the New York Rangers have fewer junior players in their system than almost any other NHL team. There are only four New York prospects skating in the CHL this season, two in the WHL, and one in each of the QMJHL and OHL. Although this is partly the result of the team moving toward drafting players headed to college, it also can be explained by the small number of selections that New York has had in recent drafts. In the last three years, the Rangers have only drafted 16 players, including four in the 2012 NHL Draft. Of the four drafted in 2012, two are playing for NCAA teams and two are continuing their development in Europe.