It was the first time in the 51 year history of the NHL Entry Draft that the Rangers didn’t have a pick in the first two rounds, and the wait was a little monotonous. While there was some speculation of trades the Rangers might have made, in the end they held fast and went with their first pick at #65 in the third round.
With the pick, they chose center/left wing Adam Tambellini, who is expected to play for the University of North Dakota next season. Tambellini, who is son of former NHLer Steve Tambellini and brother of Jeff Tambellini – both of whom played for the Islanders and Canucks – has been playing in the BCHL with Surrey.
At 6-3 178lbs, lanky doesn’t even begin to describe the 18 year old BC native. The reason the Rangers drafted him was a combination of his heritage, and his work effort, with Kyle Woodlief of the Redline Report having this to say about him: Surrey Eagles forward Adam Tambellini might be the best hidden power forward to come out of the BCHL in the past three to four years. Traded from Vernon to Surrey, Tambellini has fit right into an already potent Eagles lineup, using his big frame to create space and his skating ability to find open lanes to drive the net. He stands 6-3 and is a natural goal scorer with plenty of confidence.
He’s a scout’s dream in the way he prepares himself and plays an unselfish game, making smart decisions with the puck. With his bloodlines, he certainly understands what it will take to make it at the next level. Tambellini stayed in the BCHL this year because he’ll be entering North Dakota’s powerhouse program next fall.
It’s likely going to take a while for Tambellini to add to his frame, and make the adjustment to his game, but he’s already willing to put in the hard work, and an approach that is classic Western Canadian, and appealing to the Rangers.