After a solid first day of the NHL Draft, the New York Rangers turned in a good second day. They were active on Wednesday, moving up several spots. They entered the day with eight picks, though not having a second-rounder. By the end of the day, the Rangers had seven picks and traded into the second round.
To get into the second round, the Rangers finally put an end to the Lias Andersson saga. The Rangers traded Andersson to the Los Angeles Kings for the 60th pick in the 2020 draft. With that pick, the Rangers’ first of the day, the team selected William Cuylle. Cuylle, a six-foot, two-inch 201-pound winger, has an excellent shot and plays a mean, physical game. For example, he said that he models his game after Tom Wilson of the Washington Capitals. At just 17 and 18 years old, Cuylle scored 26 and 22 goals for the Windsor Spitfires of the OHL.
In the third round, the drafted Oliver Tarnstrom. A Swedish center, standing at six foot one and 185 pounds, Tarnstrom is a good skater who makes smart decisions to create offense. He scored 11 goals and had 23 assists in the 2019-20 season. He just turned 18 in August, making him one of the younger picks in the draft class.
In the fourth round, the Rangers took Dylan Garand, a goalie. Garand is just 18 years old and is coming off of a 28-10-3 season in the WHL, where his goals-against average was 2.21 and his save percentage was .921. The pick is a great one, with Henrik Lundqvist now gone the Rangers have secured some extra depth in the farm behind Tyler Wall, Adam Huska, and Olof Lindblom.
The Rangers originally had one pick in the fifth round but packaged two of their three seventh rounders in order to secure a second fifth-rounder. Their first selection, which they traded up for, was used on Evan Vierling. Vierling is a player that many thought to be a huge prospect in this draft. In 2019 he was taken second overall in the OHL Draft, behind Quinton Byfield, who was second overall in the 2020 NHL Draft. However, questions surrounding him as a whole were what made him fall far in this draft. Vierling is smart offensively and has loads of talent, though not necessarily dominant. He is a project type player, one that has loads of potential, but needs the right moves to unlock their potential.
With their second fifth-round pick, the Rangers took Brett Berard, a promising forward who turned 18 in September. Berard, though small at five foot nine inches and 152 pounds, is an extremely hard worker. He leaves everything on the ice which makes him a really lovable guy for coaches. Although he’s small, Berard goes to the gritty areas. He makes plays along the boards and in front of the net. The Rhode Island Native is currently committed to Providence University.
Contrary to Berard, the Rangers went huge in the sixth round, drafting six foot eight Matt Rempe. A center, Rempe is just 18 years old and measures in at six foot eight inches and 235 pounds. His skating and strength make him an interesting player. Couple that with his 12 goals and 19 assists and the Rangers may have something.
A Poetic Pick
With their final pick, the Rangers seemingly went poetic. Although just a week after buying out the contract of Henrik Lundqvist, the Rangers selected a Swedish goaltender in the 7th round. Hugo Ollas is an 18-year-old who looks like a monster in the net. He is six foot eight inches, which would make him the tallest goalie in the NHL if he played. Although he is obviously blocked by several goalie prospects, the pick will bring good closure to Rangers fans.
Overall, the Rangers had a solid second day of the draft. They seem like they found some late gems in the fifth round and trading into the second round was huge. Obviously, the draft as a whole was nice, with Alexis Lafreniére coming to the Big Apple along with Braden Schneider. Above all, the team is bringing in solid talent which is helping them rebuild for the future. Now the team will shift toward free agency which opens up on Friday, October 9th at 12 pm Eastern Time.