1st Round – Dylan McIlarth, D | Moose Jaw Warriors (WHL) | 6’4", 212 lbs. | 4/20/92
I really do like this pick. He is a big, bruising defenseman who I think the Rangers need and have needed for the longest time. He has decent hands for a defenseman, hits like a freight train, throw with the best of them, and protects his teammates. The only downside is that Cam Fowler was still available with this pick, but as you will see with the rest of the picks Fowler wasn’t the type of player the Rangers were going for in this draft.
Grade : B
2nd Round – Christian Thomas, RW | Oshawa Generals (OHL) | 5’9", 165 lbs. | 5/26/92
This is another pick I like. After finally getting a shot at some playing time last year Thomas responded by putting up 41 goals and 65 points in 64 games. He is undersized, but that is not something that bothers me. As a bigger defenseman myself, the thing I hated the most was trying to stop a small, speedy, elusive player like Thomas. Not only does he have a knack for scoring, speed, and being a hard worker; he is also the son of a 400-goal scorer who was also an undersized player. Not too shabby. It also adds a player for a position where the Rangers have the least amount of depth.
Grade : B+
3rd Round – None (Traded for Brian Boyle)
I’ll take the NHL player over draft pick [who isn't a first round pick] almost all the time.
Grade : B
4th Round – Andrew Yogan, C | Erie Otters (OHL) | 6’3", 202 lbs. | 12/4/91
My favorite pick in the draft in terms of value and potential. Yohan is a big strong kid with a lot of a talent. There were jokes that he could not be an NHL player because he is from Florida and there has never been an NHL player from Florida. He has great passing ability and plays a hard nosed game, but has dealt a lot with the injury bug. He could be the next Hugh Jessiman or he could be Ryan Kesler. Needs to work on his work ethic.
Grade : A-
5th Round – Jason Wilson, LW | Owen Sound Attack (OHL) | 6’2", 205 lbs. | 4/15/90
I’m not really a big fan of overage draft picks, but this is another big strong kid who has some talent to go along with it. While he may not be as talented as Yogan, he is tougher and he still has an outside shot to become a third-line winger.
Grade : B-
6th Round – Jesper Fasth, RW | HV71 Jonkoping (SEL) | 6’, 176 lbs | 12/2/91
You have to like a fast, two-way, European player in the sixth round. He plays on a good club and seems to have a nose for the net. He played extremely well on the Sweden U19 team during international play scoring five goals and eight points in six games. I always hold out hope that these picks can become the next Henrik Zetterberg. In 1985 All-Star winger Randy Burridge was selected with the 157th overall pick so we can hope.
Grade : B+
7th Round – Randy McNaught, RW | Saskatoon Blades (WHL) | 6’5", 221 lbs. | 8/5/90
This pick was a bit confusing. He fits in with the mold of the players were drafting but is an older pick who is almost strictly an enforcer. He could have just been signed as an undrafted free agent, but in the seventh round it doesn’t really make a difference. Big strong kid though.
Grade : C
Overall Grade : B+
I really like what Gordie Clark and the Rangers did here. I am a big believer in their scouting department that has made some great finds the last couple of years and like that they saw the Rangers needed to toughen up after Henrik Lundqvist got run all last year and no one protected the superstars. They started to address it when they picked up Jody Shelley and continued it with the draft, so it will be interesting to see if they continue on that path for the trade deadline tomorrow.