Anthony Duclair

Risk-Reward Is The Name Of The Game

With not much to work with, the Rangers went with a little bit of breeding, some value picking and a couple of stretch picks to round it out.  All in all it was probably a decent day given the position the team was in, and what was available to them.

In Adam Tambellini, the team probably has their best chance of an NHLer.  Son of former Islanders, Rockies, Devils and Canucks player Steve Tambellini, as well as brother to Jeff Tambellini – who also played for the Islanders and Canucks, Adam has some solid genes.  He also caught the eye of a few scouts, despite playing in the second tier BCHL, on his way to a stint with perennial NCAA powerhouse in the University of North Dakota next season.

He’s still got some growing to do both physically – variously listed at 6-2 to 6-4 and 158-186lbs – and from a game perspective, and it would not surprise to see him complete all four years of his NCAA eligibility before turning pro.  Still Tambellini has a lot of things that are positive in his game, including size, hands and a willingness to use his frame to get the job done.

With the remaining two third round picks, the Rangers took a chance on a couple of players who had projected as first rounders, but ultimately fell to them in the mid to late third round.

Russian left wing Pavel Buchnevich caught eyes in Sochi with 11 points in 7 games in the U18 World Junior Championships, and was projected to go as early as the mid-first round by some pundits.  Buchnevich has some classy offense, but like many Russians over the years has a questionable work ethic and commitment.  

He also has two more years of commitment to his hometown team of Cherepovets in the KHL, which makes you wonder whether he’ll be willing to take a shot at the NHL, or be willing to play in the AHL.

With that said, at #75 in the draft, he’s a value pick, and if it pans out, could be a very good choice for the Rangers.

Similarly, Anthony Duclair – selected at #80 – was projected to be a first rounder after a stand-out season as a 16 year old in the QMJHL.  But a drop off in performance this year, questions about his commitment and strength, ultimately saw his stock drop off to a projected mid-second rounder.

Duclair was one of the best skaters in the league, and with a change of coach in Quebec this year – Patrick Roy is moving on to coach the Avalanche – there’s still a possibility that he might be able to become more than a one-dimensional player, and at #80 he’s worth a shot.

In the fourth round, the Rangers used their lone pick on Ryan Graves, a sizeable stay at home defender who likes to hit.  He possibly got picked a little early in Round 4, but without a fifth rounder, the Rangers went with a need.  Still seems like a long shot, especially when you look at their history with guys like Dalyn Flatt et all.

With their final pick, the Rangers went with another need, adding a Kootenay Ice goaltender Mackenzie Skapski.  Skapski had his first year as starter for the Ice last season, and had moderate stats in a tough league.

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