Photo: Drafted 15th overall in 2011, forward J.T. Miller was impressive in his first year of OHL play, managing 62 points in 61 regular season games. (CHL Images)
Of the 28 players currently listed on the New York Rangers' roster, 10 are former Blueshirts' draft selections, and two (Ryan McDonagh and Tim Erixon) were obtained by the team through trade prior to the beginning their professional careers. One additional player, Dan Girardi, was signed as a free agent after a year of playing with the Rangers' AHL affiliate. Thirteen of the 28 players on New York's current roster are therefore homegrown, making the NHL Draft the primary source of NHL players for the team.
Photo: Though he started the 2011-12 season in the AHL, two-way winger Carl Hagelin finished it in the NHL on a line with stars Brad Richards and Marian Gaborik. (Jeanine Leech/Icon SMI)
The New York Rangers' prospects had an excellent season, as the fruits of the changes in drafting philosophy continue to bear fruit. The awards include three first round selections and two picks from the 2011 entry draft.
Sniper Chris Kreider recently joined the Rangers for their extended 2012 playoff run. Kreider has been one of the Rangers top prospects since he was drafted in in 2009. (Rich Kane/Icon SMI)
Below is the middle third of Hockey's Future NHL Organizational rankings as voted by the Hockey's Future staff. To determine the ranking, each team's entire prospect pool was taken into consideration. For reference, just the top five prospects are listed. To be eligible, a prospect must meet HF's prospect criteria. The rankings are done twice each season, in the fall and spring.
Photo: Upon completing a junior season in which he was among the top players in all of NCAA hockey, Chris Kreider signed an entry-level deal with the New York Rangers. (Photo courtesy of Patrick Green/ Icon SMI)
With last Saturday's National Championship win, the 2011-12 NCAA season ended for Rangers' prospects. New York's top prospect, Chris Kreider, and his Boston College Eagles defeated the Ferris State Bulldogs by a score of 4-1. Then, after returning to Chestnut Hill for celebrations and a couple of last days of classes, Kreider signed a contract and joined the Rangers to prepare for the NHL playoffs. The Blueshirts' only other NCAA prospect, Danny Hobbs, had his season end earlier in the NCAA playoffs, suffering a broken wrist in the Hockey East Quarterfinal Series.
Photo: Defenseman Tim Erixon has been solid in his first season with the Rangers organization. Erixon has appeared in 18 NHL games. (Photo courtesy of Rich Kane/Icon SMI)
Chris Kreider remains the top prospect in the Rangers organization. Two players, Tomas Kundratek (WAS) and Dale Weise (VAN), who appeared on the last ranking have since been traded, and one, Ryan McDonagh, has graduated. Carl Hagelin, who is close to graduation, plays on New York's top line with Marion Gaborik and Brad Richards. Michael St. Croix, who had an outstanding 2011-12 junior campaign, is also a quick riser. In total, there are 13 forwards, five defensemen and two goaltenders that comprise New York's spring 2012 Top 20. The top four prospects are all expected to compete for NHL roster spots next fall.