NHL Draft 2014: Final Look at New York Rangers' Best Options in 2nd Round
The New York Rangers do not have a selection until the 59th overall pick in the 2014 NHL draft. That is due to the Martin St. Louis trade. I'm guessing the Rangers do not mind that they don't have that first-round pick.
What should the Rangers be looking for with this selection? And what type of players will fit in best with the team?
We'll take a final look at the Rangers' best options in the second round at Friday's draft.
Justin Kirkland, LW, Kelowna (WHL)
Justin Kirkland is a 6'3", 175-pound left wing who had a solid season with Kelowna.
The winger had 17 goals and 31 assists in 48 games.
He could grow into a power forward player, who will go into the tight areas and place himself in the front of the net.
As Kyle Woodlief of USA Today wrote, Kirkland is a "Late-blooming power winger is 6-3 and still growing, with an impressive hockey IQ. Best-case scenario: Could he become Jamie Benn lite?"
The Rangers would sure love to have Jamie Benn. Maybe Kirkland is the next best option.
Michael Amadio, C, North Bay (OHL)
If there's one thing the Rangers learned in the Stanley Cup Final, it's that they need size down the middle.
Michael Amadio could fill that void. The 6'1", 190-pound pivot scored 12 goals and had 26 assists in 64 games.
As Todd Cordell of The Hockey Guys notes:
Michael Amadio is one of the most defensively responsible players in this draft class. He’s a very smart player with a high hockey IQ, and he always understands where to be on the ice. His positioning defensively is excellent, and he’s always strong on the back check. He often takes on tough assignments and plays against opposing team’s best offensive players, and he does a good job of holding his own and shadowing them. With the puck, he keeps things simple and doesn’t force a play if it isn’t there. He’s very smart with the puck and goes through his progressions quickly.
That sounds to me like a prototypical third-line center who will play in all situations. Between Derek Stepan, Derick Brassard and someone like Amadio, the Rangers will have plenty of skill and more size down the middle.
Alexander Peters, D, Plymouth (OHL)
Alexander Peters is a big defensive defenseman who will play a shutdown role in the NHL.
The 6'4", 207-pound defenseman will not put up many points, but he will play solid in his own end, play with an edge and always make the right pass.
As ISS Hockey tweeted, Peters has "Elite shutdown upside for next level... mobility, size & physical play. Veteran presence."
The Rangers sure wouldn't mind that on the back end. With Marc Staal a free agent after this season, and with John Moore currently a restricted free agent, the Rangers would be wise to invest in a few defensemen who can provide depth.
Peters, at the end of the second round, would provide great value and could potentially be in the NHL in two years.