10 draft picks give Rangers options in unfamiliar rebuild

NEW YORK — The Rangers face an unfamiliar challenge after stockpiling picks for the June draft: Maximizing a franchise-record 10 selections, including three in the first round.

Rebuilding means keeping options open for trades while also targeting players who best fit the team’s goals.

Assistant general manager Chris Drury says the team’s priorities are adding young, competitive players with speed and skill and “a premium on high character.”

“It’s one thing to have all these great picks … you have to be ready and be prepared to make the right picks,” Drury said.

The 10 picks are a high for the Rangers under the draft’s current format of seven rounds. The team also has nine picks in the 2019 draft, including a conditional first-round selection from Tampa Bay it received in a trade-deadline blockbuster for defenceman Ryan McDonagh.

New York also dealt Nick Holden and Rick Nash to Boston, plus Michael Grabner to New Jersey in four separate deals, bringing back eight players and six draft picks.

General manager Jeff Gorton said the picks give the Rangers flexibility and currency.

“We have to look at both scenarios,” he said when asked if he would be willing to trade picks for current NHL players.

“We’ll look at different positions and see what’s available. When you have three first-round picks and you’re on the draft floor, opportunity will be there,” Gorton said.

The playoffs and draft lottery will shape the value of the first-round selections. Swedish defenceman Rasmus Dahlin is the consensus pick among experts as the top overall draft pick this year, and New York’s other first-round picks will depend on how Boston and Tampa Bay perform in the playoffs. Both could be serious Stanley Cup contenders.

Team officials like the early returns even for an organization that has been known to sacrifice its future for the present.

“Certainly a lot of energy moving forward to prep between now and getting to the stage in Dallas,” Drury said of the site of June’s draft.

Just Posted

Hospitalizations jump in Red Deer due to opioid poisonings

Small city hospitals impacted more by opioid crisis

Central Alberta councils learn more about Bighorn Country proposal

A collection of central Alberta politicians are learning more about the province’s… Continue reading

High-speed chase led to fatal collision, jury hears

A Delburne man accused of manslaughter caused a fatal rollover collision during… Continue reading

‘Part of the solution:’ Alberta seeks proposals to build new refinery

EDMONTON — Alberta is looking for someone to build a new oil… Continue reading

Online ads spoil Christmas surprises, raising privacy concerns: experts

Lisa Clyburn knew she had found the perfect gift for her nine-year-old… Continue reading

Sebastian Giovinco, Jonathan Osorio and Adriana Leon up for top CONCACAF awards

Toronto FC’s Sebastian Giovinco and Jonathan Osorio are up for CONCACAF male… Continue reading

Huitema, Cornelius named 2018 Canadian Youth International Players of the Year

TORONTO — Canada Soccer has named striker Jordyn Huitema and defender Derek… Continue reading

Review: Too much Spider-Man? Not in the Spider-Verse

You might be forgiven for feeling superhero overload this holiday season. Had… Continue reading

‘Modern Family’s’ Sarah Hyland had second kidney transplant

LOS ANGELES — “Modern Family” star Sarah Hyland says she had a… Continue reading

Orlando SC acquires Canadian Tesho Akindele in trade with FC Dallas for cash

ORLANDO, Fla. — Canadian forward Tesho Akindele was traded to Orlando City… Continue reading

Koskinen notches third shutout, McDavid gets winner as Oilers blank Flames 1-0

EDMONTON — The Edmonton Oilers appear to have shored up their defence… Continue reading

Most Read