Breaking Down Experts' Picks for New York Rangers' 2014 Draft
Without a first-rounder, the Rangers aren't likely to find a player who will contribute right away. Instead, they should look at promising players who will become factors down the line.
What do the experts think the Rangers should do in the 2014 NHL draft?
Read on to find out.
Andreas Englund, D, Djurgardens IF (HockeyAllsvenskan)
The Hockey Writers tabbed Swedish blueliner Andreas Englund to become the Rangers' first draft pick in 2014 at 59th overall.
Englund is a 6'3", 190-pound defenseman who obviously needs to put on some pounds before he can withstand the rigors of the NHL.
With that said, he is quite talented. He is a good skater with a decent shot and was effective in his own end with Djurgardens in HockeyAllsvenskan (second tier of Swedish hockey).
As Ben Kerr of Last Word on Sports writes:
In terms of style, Englund resembles Anton Volchenkov of the New Jersey Devils, especially when Volchenkov was in his prime. He isn’t going to get a lot of style points, but his game is simple and effective. If he reaches his potential, he can be a staunch shut-down defender in the NHL.
Anton Volchenkov has lost a step in recent years, but there was a time when he was a top defender in the league.
Englund would probably need two or three years in Sweden before he's ready for the NHL. He needs to bulk up and gain more experience playing against men.
However, this would be a solid investment for the future, should the Rangers have trouble re-signing Marc Staal (unrestricted free agent in 2015) or even John Moore (restricted free agent in 2014).
Beau Starrett, LW, South Shore Kings (USPHL)
Headed to Cornell next season, Beau Starrett could be an intriguing choice for the Rangers in the third round.
The Hockey Writers predict that the Rangers will select the 6'4", 185-pound left winger in the third round.
Playing for the South Shore Kings of the U.S. Premier Hockey League, Starrett scored 11 goals and had 36 assists in 48 games.
His coach, Scott Harlow, told Shawn Hutcheon of the New England Hockey Journal that, while raw, Starrett has big-time potential:
Beau’s upside is tremendous.He has size (6-foot-4), good hockey sense, great hands and can really shoot the puck. He has great offensive ability. He does need to increase his compete level but I think that will come as the season progresses.
Of course, we’re talking four or five years down the line when it comes to the NHL but I think Beau has the potential to be drafted in the top three rounds of the upcoming draft.
This would not be a pick for next year. This pick would only pay dividends starting in, perhaps, the 2018-19 season.
Nevertheless, playmakers with size don't come along often. Last season's Stanley Cup Final showed that the Rangers need to get a bit bigger. The 6'4" Starrett could be a nice start.
Mike Amadio, C, North Bay Battalion (OHL)
If the Stanley Cup Final proved anything, it's that the Rangers need to get bigger down the middle.
Enter Mike Amadio.
The 6'1", 192-pound pivot scored 12 goals and had 26 assists for the North Bay Battalion in the Ontario Hockey League, and would be my pick for the Rangers' 59th overall selection in the 2014 NHL draft.
Central Scouting's Chris Edwards discussed Amadio with Mike G. Morreale of NHL.com."Michael uses his size very well, wins battles and separates opponents from the puck. He protects the puck very well and can fight through checks. Most of his points will come from hard work and second effort," he said.
That sounds to me like a second-line center.
The Rangers will presumably have Derek Stepan as the No. 1 center for a long time. Between Stepan, Derick Brassard and potentially Mike Amadio, the Rangers would have a much stronger group down the middle.
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