Just got off the phone with Rangers director of player personnel Gordie Clark, who as a former UNH Wildcat, is obviously the smartest member of the team’s front office.
A couple of nuggets:
<li>Don’t count on the Rangers making any dramatic move to crack into the top 5 tomorrow, but don’t be surprised either if they explore trading up at least a few spots.
“That option is always there and in most cases you need your second round pick, and we have it,” Clark said.
<li>The team isn’t necessarily targeting forwards or defensemen, but Clark noted there is a healthy supply of solid NHL defensemen available, particularly in that 5-15 range. Last year the team went in with the philosophy that it definitely wanted a forward in the first round, but this year the Rangers are more open-minded to either.
<li>Does Jared Staal have special appeal to the Rangers because they already have Marc? Not necessarily. But what Clark did say was that given the bloodlines involved, the youngest Staal, a right wing, might be more of a known entity.
“A lot of it’s projection in the NHL, and with the character and skill and the maturity the other three have, they’re going to project he’s going to have that, too,” Clark said.
It would be a stretch for the Rangers to snag Staal seeing how the forward is ranked outside the top 30 by most scouting services. But he also may have more of an upside since he’s still fairly early in his development, especially since, as Clark noted, he didn’t play much at all his first season of juniors.