After making the playoffs for seven straight seasons, the New York Rangers failed to qualify in 2017-18 after going 34-39-9—their worst season since 2003-04.
The Rangers traded away Rick Nash, Ryan McDonagh and J.T. Miller in trades that acquired the Boston Bruins’ and Tampa Bay Lightning’s first-round picks. So, the No.9 overall is the Rangers first of three first-round picks in the 2018 draft.
The Rangers did not have a first-round pick from 2013-to-2016, but picked Lias Andersson (No.7) and Filip Chytil (No.21) last year. As a result, the Rangers’ prospect pool is pretty shallow. The Rangers are committed to a rebuild, but a great draft this month can expedite the process.
Andersson and Chytil are their top prospects and both could make the team out of training camp after both getting cups of tea in the NHL this year. The McDonagh trade added Libor Hajek and Brett Howden to the system, but the 2018 draft will help determine their future.
With the No.9 Overall Pick in the 2018 NHL Draft, the New York Rangers select…
Adam Boqvist — RHD —Sweden ????????
Boqvist is seen as a potential top-5 pick, but other defensemen in this class have better size and two-way game. However, Boqvist is one of the most offensively-gifted blueliners in the draft. Boqvist is a great skater and loves rushing the puck. The Swedish defensemen looks like a forward with the puck on his stick and adds an offensive-defenseman to a system without a clear future NHLer with that kind of ability.
Boqvist spent some of his time in Sweden’s top league, playing 15 games with Brynas IF Gavle. At just 17-years-old, Boqvist picked up one assist and a minus-7 rating during that stint. Boqvist figures to play in Sweden again in 2018-19 and will continue to represent the country at an international level.
A dynamic offensive defenceman that can carry plays with the puck on his stick. A highly mobile and nimble skater that moves with fluidity, balance, and confidence. Utilizes an active stick and creates turnovers frequently. Could be more proactive in his own end, but has shown progression in understanding lanes and reading unfolding plays; most of his best defensive work comes through the neutral zone, as there is a lot less time and space to work with, and it is in those moments that Boqvist shines. Offensively, Boqvist is electric; he has the toolbox of a top line forward. Slick puckhandling ability paired with excellent vision and positional awareness makes him a dangerous threat every time he is on the ice. He also takes advantage of the attention and bodies he draws towards himself in creating space for teammates. All-in-all, Adam Boqvist is a complete offensive defenceman that knows how to get the puck from point A to the back of the net, and can make it happen all by himself. — Elite Prospects