Looking ahead for the Rangers: Lock in a new, young core; resist the big splash

2017 first-round pick Lias Andersson scored his first NHL goal on March 26, and it would seem that he's a player the Rangers can build around for the future. Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

As each NHL team is eliminated from playoff contention -- either mathematically or by losing in the postseason -- we'll take a look at why its quest for the Stanley Cup fell short in 2017-18, along with three keys to its offseason and a way-too-early prediction of what 2018-19 will hold.

What went wrong

This was a long time coming for the New York Rangers.

Entering 2017-18, New York had made the playoffs in 11 of 12 seasons, while winning a Presidents' Trophy and completing a run to the Stanley Cup Final in 2014. But along the way, the Rangers mortgaged the future on the promise of winning now. Between 2012 and 2017, they did not have a first-round pick, and the barren pipeline finally caught up to them. Now New York is left wondering: Were the additions of Rick Nash, Martin St. Louis and Keith Yandle worth it?