2019 Draft Pick Hunter Skinner Signs with the New York Rangers

The New York Rangers have announced that the team has agreed to terms with defenseman Hunter Skinner on an entry-level contract. Skinner was selected by the Rangers in the fourth round, 112th overall, of the 2019 NHL Entry Draft.

The Rangers have stated that Skinner will join the Hartford Wolf Pack on an AHL contract for the remainder of the 2020-21 season, and his entry-level contract begins at the start of the 2021-22 season. His signing adds some right-handed defenseman depth for the Blueshirts organization.

The soon-to-be 20-year-old Skinner skated in 26 games with the Utah Grizzlies of the ECHL this season, registering seven goals and 10 assists for 17 points, along with 19 penalty minutes. He ranks third among ECHL defensemen in goals and ranks 10th among ECHL defensemen in shots on goal (74) in 2020-21.

After playing with the Lincoln Stars and the Muskegon Lumberjacks of the USHL, Skinner played with the London Knights of the Ontario Hockey League (OHL) in 2019-20, registering 32 points (six goals, 26 assists) and a plus-22 rating in 62 games.

Internationally, the Wyandotte, Michigan native helped the United States win a gold medal at the 2021 IIHF World Junior Championship.





TSN Predicts the New York Rangers First Round Pick in the 2020 Draft

New York Rangers

As of this moment, the only thing that the New York Rangers and their fans are engaged in would be simulations. April 9th was supposed to be the day that the NHL implemented its draft lottery but with everything on hold, we are left waiting for what steps the NHL takes to hold their entry draft this year. However, the fine hockey people at TSN held a simulated draft lottery and then had their Director of scouting Craig Button make the selections for the 15 teams that would not have made the playoffs using the current system of determining playoff teams. The New York Rangers were to select 13th and Button predicted they would select Finnish centerman, Anton Lundell.

What Anton Lundell could bring to the New York Rangers

At just 18 years old, many hockey experts feel that Lundell may be one of the most well-rounded players In the draft.  He does have extensive international experience as he won a gold medal with Team Finland at the 2019 World Juniors and won a gold medal at the 2018 U18, putting up six points in seven games. He was having a strong year for HIFK of the Finnish Liiga, having posted 10 goals and 18 assists for a total of 28 points through 44 games. As a 17-year-old, he scored nine goals and 19 points in 38 games for HIFK. Very impressive for a teen playing in league with grown men. Draftineu.com wrote that Lundell “works with and without the puck to put himself in convenient positions to shoot and doesn’t need much time or space to release his wrist shot”. His 62.8 percent Corsi for leads HIFK, suggesting that he’s been dominant in every zone. Just an FYI a Corsi is an advanced statistic used in the NHL to measure shot attempt differential while at even strength play. He has also been widely praised for being a smart two-way player who has the potential to be a number one center.

Steve Kournianos of The Draft Analyst had this to say about Lundell: “He has the makings of an excellent top-six center at the NHL level. He is constantly involved in the play in one form or another and he uses his size, strength, reaches, and sound positioning to overwhelm the toughest of Finnish league veterans. Although he isn’t physically intimidating or a punishing hitter, Lundell definitely plays a North-South game predicted on tenacity on the puck and making plays in traffic.”

Lundell seems about as well-rounded as any prospect in this draft and the Rangers would probably be very happy to find him at the 13th spot of this year’s draft.

The New York Rangers 2020 NHL Entry Draft Will Be a Little Different

Brady Skjei, New York Rangers

The New York Rangers may end up doing what millions of fantasy sports participants do every year: draft online. That’s right, you could see John Davidson, David Quinn, and other Ranger officials sitting in front of a big screen, time clock ticking away in the corner, as the look through the list of players available. Then they make their selection and press enter, and the New York Rangers have made their pick. Sound far-fetched? It might not be as the NHL canceled some events, including the live 2020 Entry Draft.

Covid-19 Forces the NHL to cancel events

Recently, the NHL announced it has postponed the 2020 NHL Draft Combine, the NHL Awards Show and the 2020 NHL Entry Draft. The Draft Combine was scheduled to take place on June 1-6 in Buffalo, NY as it always does. The Awards show was to be held in Las Vegas, NV on June 18 and the draft would’ve been June 26-27 in Montreal. Not surprising because in a best-case scenario, the Rangers and/or other NHL teams will be playing games during this time. But in postponing this live, planned event, the NHL will have to look at other ways to have teams, select players.

This is from the official press release: The location, timing and format of the 2020 NHL Draft (and Draft Lottery) will be announced when details are finalized. 

The New York Rangers may be drafting “online”.

Overall, this has possibilities. Whether it may be to help with the continuing practice of social distancing or to facilitate a draft that has to be planned in a short period of time, drafting online has some merits. It could also be quite interesting to watch this kind of draft. Imagine following along on the television or on a computer. You might get to see the same screen that the teams are using. Maybe there is a little trash talking going on between teams in the little chat box that is featured in most fantasy draft formats.

Something to ponder while we do some mock MLB drafts while practicing social distancing for a little while longer.