For a team that used to hand out first-round picks like they were candy, the New York Rangers find themselves with an incredible abundance of draft assets, including three first-rounders in 2018. Should the Rangers hang on to all of them, they'll have five first-round picks over the past two seasons, one more than they had in the four previous drafts combined. It's a position of strength in a year of good depth in the first round.
On top of the three first-rounders, the Rangers have two second-round picks and two third-rounders. Seven picks in the first three rounds give GM Jeff Gorton so many options, along with the most assets in the top three rounds of any team in the NHL (tied with the Detroit Red Wings). There's the trade option, of course, but the Rangers have a chance to significantly upgrade their prospect pool after a strong first-round performance last year. This team is rebuilding and is right where it wants to be heading into the draft. Additionally, the Rangers will have a pick in the fourth, fifth and sixth rounds.
So with such a significant opportunity for one of the league's marquee franchises, we thought it would be a good idea to see what an ideal first half of the draft might look like for the Rangers. Based on what we know from various chatter about which players will go where, we can make some reasonable guesses as to who will be available for New York if the team holds on to all seven picks.
For the purposes of this exercise, we'll have to estimate out the Rangers' final two first-round picks and the third-rounder the team received from the Boston Bruins, as those spots won't be decided until second round of the playoffs concludes Thursday, or in the case of the Tampa Bay Lightning pick, until at least the conclusion of the conference finals.
No. 9 pick: Noah Dobson, D, Acadie-Bathurst (QMJHL)
Age: 18 | Shoot: R | Ht: 6-3 | Wt: 180
67 GP | 17 G | 52 A