NHL Draft 2011: The Top 15 Draft Picks of the New York Rangers Since 1985
The New York Rangers have done a tremendous job in the NHL draft in recent years. The team had some trouble when it came to drafting for awhile, and in the past were known to give up prospects for big-time free agents.
That time is gone, and now Rangers fans are excited about recent draft picks and the upcoming draft. In preparation for the draft, let's look at the top 15 draft picks of the Rangers in the past 25 years.
Please note that some of these players may never have played a game with the Rangers, but each was still drafted by the team. Although they may not have made an impact with the Rangers, each can still be included on this list for his contributions to the NHL.
All stats include playoffs and regular season unless otherwise noted.
Honorable Mention—Dominic Moore
A member of the Harvard University hockey team, Dominic Moore was taken with the 95th pick in the 2000 draft by the Rangers (before Henrik Lundqvist).
Moore played in 91 games for the Rangers, registering 18 points and nine goals. He then moved on to play for the Minnesota Wild, Toronto Maple Leafs, Buffalo Sabres, Florida Panthers, Montreal Canadiens and Tampa Bay Lightning.
Moore is known as a hard-nosed player who is willing to stick up for teammates. He was an integral part of the Lightning team this season and scored a career high 18 goals in this past regular season and 3 more in the playoffs. He scored 4 playoff goals for the Habs in the 2010 playoffs.
Moore has 176 career points in 492 NHL games.
Honorable Mention—Kim Johnnson
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Quick! The Rangers traded Kim Johnnson to the Flyers for which superstar?
If you guessed Eric Lindros you were correct. Johnnson was drafted 286th overall by the Rangers in the 1994 draft and made his debut with the team in the 1999-2000 season.
Johnnson played in 151 games for the Rangers, registering 11 goals and 47 points. He then moved on to Philadelphia then to the Minnesota Wild for four seasons.
In 2010 he played in eight games for the Blackhawks but does not have his name on the Stanley Cup. In his career he has 296 points and 69 goals in 782 NHL games.
Honorable Mention—Petr Prucha
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Petr Prucha was drafted 240th overall in the 2002 draft. He made his debut in 2005-06, scoring 30 goals for the Rangers.
Unfortunately for the Rangers, Prucha was never able to rediscover that scoring touch and fell out of the lineup with Tom Renney in charge. He was traded to the Coyotes in the 2008-2009 season for Derek Morris and was not spectacular for the Coyotes.
Prucha now plays in the KHL. In 345 NHL games he has 80 goals and 151 points.
15. Manny Malhotra
Manny Malhotra was a disappointment for the Rangers after being drafted with the 7th pick in the 1998 draft. He scored 19 goals in his Rangers career before being traded to Dallas.
Known for his speed, Malhotra has become a penalty kill specialist and a solid third line player. He has played for Columbus, San Jose and Vancouver, appearing in the Finals for Western Conference champions this year.
Malhotra suffered a horrific eye injury in March but made a dramatic entrance into the Stanley Cup. Malhotra may have never worked out for the Rangers but developed into a solid NHL player elsewhere.
In 807 NHL games he has 103 goals and 262 points.
14. Mike York
Courtesy of Wikipedia
Mike York was drafted 136th overall in the 1997 NHL draft. He made his Rangers debut in the 1999-2000 season, scoring 26 goals.
He was traded to the Oilers at the trade deadline in 2001-2002 for Tom Poti.
York has also played for the Islanders, Flyers, Coyotes and Blue Jackets. He joined the Rangers after playing at Michigan State.
The biggest accomplishment in his career was a silver medal with Team USA at the 2002 Olympics in Salt Lake City. He has played in 585 NHL games with 127 goals and 324 points.
13. Brandon Dubinsky
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Taken with the 60th pick in the 2004 draft, Dubinsky will be a integral part of the Rangers for the future.
Dubinsky has developed into a solid second line player. He may not be a top goal scorer but he "plays like a Ranger" by operating with toughness and heart.
A versatile player, Dubinsky is part of the team's core and will hopefully lead the Rangers to the promised land in the coming years.
In 338 NHL games he has 78 goals and 194 points. I look forward to the best days of Dubinsky's career.
12. Ryan Callahan
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O Captain, my captain!
The presumable captain-in-waiting of the Rangers was the 127th pick in the 2004 draft. The little kid out of Rochester proved to be a find for the Rangers as he has become their leader in the locker room.
Callahan's attitude and work ethic have endeared him to Rangers fans. An example of this is breaking his ankle blocking a Zdeno Chara shot against Boston in the third-to-last game of the year.
Callahan has played in 311 NHL games with 153 points and 82 goals. Like Dubinsky, I look forward to watching the best days of his career.
11. Marc Staal
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The third of the Staal brothers to hit the NHL, Marc was drafted 12th overall in the 2005 draft. He made his Rangers debut in the 2007-08 season and has blossomed ever since.
Staal is the Rangers' current top defenseman and has handled Alex Ovechkin and Sidney Crosby nicely in his NHL time. For his efforts, Staal was selected to the 2011 All Star Game.
In 343 NHL games, Staal has 22 goals and 86 points. Arguably his biggest goal was in Game 4 of the 2008 Eastern Conference quarterfinals when he had the game winning goal against the Devils to give the Rangers a commanding 3-1 series lead, a series they won in five games.
Rangers fans hope Staal's best days are ahead of him.
10. Todd Marchant
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Todd Marchant has the honor of having played the most games of any player drafted in the 1993 draft.
Marchant was selected with the 164th pick and played a whopping one game with the Rangers in the '94 season. He was traded to the Oilers for Craig MacTavish, who later coached Marchant.
Marchant played nine seasons with the Oilers, serving as alternate captain. He then left Edmonton to join the Blue Jackets for two years before going to Europe for the lockout.
Upon returning he signed with the Anaheim Ducks, who he still plays for. He won the Stanley Cup with them in 2006-07.
Marchant has appeared in 1,290 NHL games with 532 points and 199 goals.
9. Marc Savard
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Marc Savard proved to the Rangers that he was going to be a solid player in his limited time with the team, but the Rangers traded him to the Flames in 1999. Savard was drafted in 1995 with the 91st pick. With the Rangers he totaled 51 points in 98 games.
In Calgary, he was second to Jarome Iginla for the lead for points on the team before being traded to Atlanta where he posted a career-high 97 points in 2005-06.
Savard then signed with the Bruins, continuing to be a point-per-game player until a concussion ended his season in 2009-10 and continued into this year.
The Bruins hope to have his name engraved on the Stanley Cup.
Savard has played in 832 NHL games with 720 points and 215 goals.
8. Sergei Nemchinov
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Sergei Nemchinov was drafted with the 244th pick in the 1990 draft after playing for Russia and the Soviet Union.
He is best known for raising the Stanley Cup with the 1994 Rangers and the 2000 Devils. In 761 NHL regular season games, Nemchinov registered 152 goals and 345 points.
He played an integral part in the Rangers' Stanley Cup run and was part of the first group of Russians to be engraved on the Stanley Cup. He also experienced international success with a silver medal in the 1998 Olympics with Russia as well as multiple World Championship gold medals with the Soviet Union/Russia.
Nemchinov also played for the Canucks (traded for Esa Tikkanen, who was his teammate on the '94 team), Islanders and Devils.
7. Doug Weight
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Drafted 34th in the 1990 draft, Weight made his Rangers debut in a playoff game in the 1990-91 season.
After 2 more seasons with the Blueshirts he was traded to Edmonton for Esa Tikannen. He would play in Edmonton until 2000-01.
Weight was then traded to St. Louis, where he played until he was traded to Carolina in 2005-06 to help bolster their roster for a run to the Stanley Cup. He won the Cup with Carolina despite missing the final 2 games due to injury.
Weight then signed with St. Louis again before being traded to Anaheim at the end of the 2008 season. He then signed with the Islanders where he spent the rest of his career and is now an Assistant Coach.
He played in 1358 NHL games and registered 1105 points with 301 goals. He won a silver medal with Team USA in 2002
6. Sergei Zubov
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A two-time Stanley Cup Champion and a member of the '94 Rangers, Sergei Zubov was drafted in 1990 with the 85th pick. Considered one of the best offensive-defensemen of all-time, he scored 12 goals in the '94 season and another five in the playoffs.
For Russia, he won the 1992 Olympic gold medal. He was a part of the first group of Russians to have their name engraved on the Stanley Cup. He was traded after the '94 season to Pittsburgh for Ulf Samuelsson and Luc Robitaille.
Zubov did not get along with Mario Lemieux and was traded to Dallas the next summer. He retired earlier this year after playing in the KHL.
Zubov played in 1,232 NHL games with 888 points and 176 goals. Zubov is known best for his Game 7 assist in the 1994 Stanley Cup when Sam Rosen said these words "Zubov feeds..." Real Rangers fans knows who he feeds already, but in case you don't know the answer is coming later in this list.
5. Tony Amonte
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The Rangers drafted Amonte 68th overall in the 1988 draft. He made his debut in the '91 playoffs and played for the Rangers until the middle of '94, when he was traded to Chicago for the great Stephane Matteau and Brian Noonan.
A five-time All Star, Amonte is 11th on the list of American born point-getters in NHL history with 900 career points.
In addition to the Rangers and Blackhawks, he also played for Calgary, Phoenix and Philadelphia. He was also a silver medalist in the 2002 Olympics with Team USA.
Amonte played in 1,273 NHL games with 955 points and 438 goals.
4. Alexei Kovalev
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Kovalev was drafted by the Rangers at 15th overall in the 1990 NHL draft. He is best known by Rangers fans for his production in the '94 playoffs.
After being traded to the Penguins in 1999-2000, he was traded back to the Rangers in 2003, and would play the 2003-04 season for the team before going to Montreal.
He was signed by Ottawa in the 2009 offseason and was recently traded to Pittsburgh.
Kovalev was the first Russian to be taken in the first round and was a part of the first group of Russians to have their name on the Stanley Cup.
Kovalev has played in 1,425 NHL games with 463 goals and 1124 points in his career.
3. Henrik Lundqvist
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The biggest steal in recent Rangers history, Lundqvist was drafted 205th overall (amazing) in the 2000 NHL draft.
The players selected by the Rangers before him include none other than Dominic Moore, Filip Novak, Premysl Duben, Nathan Martz, Brandan Snee, and Sven Halfenstein.
Lundqvist made his Rangers debut after the lockout by winning 30 of the 53 games he played in. He blossomed into a star and is one of the best goalies in the NHL.
He is the only goalie in NHL history to start his career with 6 straight 30 wins seasons. He won the gold medal for Sweden at the 2006 Olympics.
Rangers fans are dying to see Lundqvist lift the Cup and he certainly deserves it. He has a career .918 GAA in the regular season along with a record of 213-137-49. He is a three-time Vezina trophy nominee.
2. Brian Leetch
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"... Leetch! Leetch Scores!"
Brian Leetch was the recipient of that Zubov pass to put the Rangers ahead in Game Seven of the Stanley Cup Finals against Vancouver in 1994.
One of (if not the) greatest defensemen in Rangers history, Leetch was selected ninth overall in the 1986 draft. He made his Rangers debut in the 1987-88 season and played with the Rangers until the 2003-04 season.
He finished his career with Toronto and Boston, but will forever be remembered as a Ranger.
Leetch was one of the most important pieces to the Rangers Stanley Cup run in '94 and was the first American to win the Conn Smythe trophy as playoffs MVP. He was the top rookie of 1989 and won the Norris trophy for best defenseman in 1992 and 1997, becoming the first American to win it.
He also won a silver medal with Team USA in 2002. He was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2005 and was ranked the 71st best player of all-time by The Hockey News while he was still playing.
His number 2 hangs in the rafters of MSG and will never be worn again by a Ranger.
1. Mike Richter
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Richter is the only Rangers goalie to lift the Stanley Cup in the past 71 years, which makes him the best draft pick of the Rangers in the past 25 years.
Drafted 28th overall in 1985, Richter made his debut in the 1989-90 season and set a Rangers record with 42 wins in 1994.
He posted a .921 GAA in the '94 playoffs as he led the Rangers to the promised land. He won a silver medal with Team USA in 2002. He was also MVP of the 1994 All Star Game and is enshrined in the United States Hockey Hall of Fame.
In 742 career NHL games, Richter won 342 games including 41 wins in 76 playoff games. His number 35 hangs in the rafters of MSG and will never be worn again by a Ranger.
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Did I miss somebody? Feel I ranked someone too low or too high? Tell me about it in the comments.
Thanks for the read and you'll be hearing from me with a look at the 2011 draft.
Stay Classy and Let's Go Rangers!