Heading into the 2003 National Hockey League Draft, the New York Rangers were faced with a variety of holes to fill in an attempt to return to respectability. The Rangers had to find a way to uncover not only solid prospects in their first few rounds but with their late round picks as well, because despite their relatively high draft position the past several years, the Rangers draft crops have yielded only a few positive returns so far.
The 1998 Entry Draft saw the Rangers take character forward Manny Malhotra with the seventh overall selection. Despite playing in the NHL at 18 years of age, Malhotra has yet to develop into the solid checking center the Rangers envisioned five years ago. He is currently playing for the Dallas stars and a serious cloud looms over his ability to score or even remain at the NHL once and for all.
In the second round of the 1998 draft, the Rangers selected power winger Randy Copley out of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. However being drafted is seemingly as close as Copley will ever get to wearing an NHL sweater. After two frustrating junior campaigns in which he didn’t score or check enough to warrant a pro contract, Copley has bounced around the East Coast Hockey League where his results have been less than spectacular.
The Rangers selected goaltender Jason Labarbera and wings Boyd Kane and Patrick Leahy with their third, fourth and fifth round picks respectively. Though all three players have enjoyed some degrees of success in the American Hockey League, none seem likely to make any perman Read more»