While the New York Rangers seemingly have an easy choice on who to pick number one, they still have another first-round pick, the 22nd overall via the Brady Skjei trade with Carolina. Over the days and weeks leading up to the draft, we will take a look at some of the players the Blueshirts could select with this pick. This is assuming that the Rangers do not trade this pick before the draft.
Jacob Perreault – C- Sarnia (OHL)
The Montreal native can play both Center and Right-Wing, areas experts have indicated are Rangers needs, and is listed as the 22nd ranked prospect by Draftsite. Bill Placzek of draftsite had this scouting report for Perreault: “The son of Yanic has put up good offensive numbers the past couple seasons with the OHL Western Division last place club ,the Sarnia Sting, were he finished a minus 34. Shows strong offensive tendencies and seems to smell blood in many of his chances. Displays strong passing skills and hard shots when inside the circles. His skating will be a concern but he can show a little dangle and dynamic moves but overall, he needs to improve his overall movement. There is his high end skill and deadly shot to build on although it may not be able to mask his present skating deficiencies.”
— /Cam Robinson/ (@Hockey_Robinson) September 14, 2020
Craig Button of TSN said this about Perrault: “Hungry and determined scorer who has intensity in and around the net and in scoring areas. He knows how to finish, and with a playmaking centre he will do it at the next level.”
Both sites have compared him to Kyle Palmieri of the New Jersey Devils.
Early mock drafts have him selected anywhere from #20 to #26.
Mavrik Bourque – C – Shawinigan (QMJHL)
Most scouts consider Bourque deft and cerebral facilitator, while beins big-time passer with step-ahead vision.
The 18-year-old scored 1.45 points per game, ninth most in the QMJHL, with 29 goals and 42 assists through 49 contests.
A look at one of the more interesting QMJHL centers, Mavrik Bourque. pic.twitter.com/rWgMCblGeW
— Devils Insiders (@DevilsInsiders) September 17, 2020
His possible Ranger teammate Alexis Lafreniere led the league with 35 power play assists. Bourque finished tied for fifth with 21.
Craig Button of TSN said about Bourque: “He will not grab your attention with flash and dash, but he’s very smart, very competitive and is invested in the hard areas of the game. Skills are good and with his versatility, he’s productive.”
Mock drafts have him going anywhere from #21 to #27
He has been compared to current NHLers David Krejci and Mikael Backlund.
Connor Zary – C – Kamloops (WHL)
Bob McKenzie of TSN has Zary ranked 22nd, but he has been ranked as high as 11th.
Button of TSN has described him as “The definition of a Swiss Army knife-type player. Very good sense and skills but his understanding of all situations and ability to contribute in all of them defines him as substance over flash.”
#MeetTheFuture: Connor Zary
— CanadianHockeyLeague (@CHLHockey) September 12, 2020
Draftsite.com/Placzek wrote this about Zary: “He has excellent offensive instincts. His feet and hands play fast in unison. A one touch passer. Smart playmaker who will link together passing plays with good touch, and skates up closer to his linemates to shorten the length of passes, then flies to an open area to receive a return pass. Draws the opposition out of their areas and his linemates gain scoring areas as a result. Strong 200 foot player. He will be asked to handle tough minutes,high percentage of defensive zone starts,against the other teams top lines in the early pro career.”
Mock drafts have him going anywhere from 15th to 23rd, and he is compared to current NHL player Elias Lindholm.
In future articles we will look at more possible picks, including players that might fall to the Rangers, as well as those the Rangers may reach for.