Well we were really hoping that nobody would have discovered what we had already knew about John Carlson formerly of the Indiana Ice so he would have been still there at 20 when the Rangers did in fact pick. We have it on good authority that Carlson will be gone by then unless the Rangers trade up to insure they get him.
The problem is that while there remains talented prospects for the Rangers to select the number one need remains a physical stay at home defenseman like Carlson would have offered. So now the options are to more on to "Plan B" which would be to grab a physical big forward like in our book a Greg Niemsz of the Winsdor Spitfires (OHL).
So let us look at some other options for the Rangers to seriously consider starting with the option to trade further down in the first round to gain extra picks in the second or third rounds and use the extra picks to grab depth while addressing needs at the same time.
There is only one thing here you got to promise not to tell anyone what we are hoping the Rangers will do because we have already lost 2 prospects that we knew before others in Colin Wilson and the already mentioned Carlson.
OK everyone gather together sign the blood oath, use the secret handshake and promise to sacrifice a family member if you give away our plans here.
We believe if the Rangers can trade down to say an old friend of Sather's Dean Lombardi and the Los Angeles Kings for the 32nd and 47th picks so then with 3 second round picks the Rangers will wind up with 3 high quality prospects out of this draft. And here is how we would use those picks.
At 32 we take a very promising High Schooler from Minnesota named Cory Feinhage (6'4 190) who is heading to North Dakota for 2009. Fienhage we got a peek at when he joined the Indiana Ice after his High School season ended and like John Carlson, we are looking at another player with a mean streak.
Feinhage needs work on his body, his skating and agility but he is barely 18 and wants to be another Scott Stevens. We think of Jeff Beukeboom with the way he finishes his checks, how with his wide arm span it is almost impossible to get by him.
That he is heading to a NCAA powerhouse like North Dakota is a very good sign since North Dakota does not recruit just anyone for their hockey program and we know he will get that much better.
At 47, We would turn the Rangers into the favorite team of the Staal family because we would use 47 on the youngest Staal, Jared a 6'3 200 lb right wing. Staal fell to here because his family name dragged him down in our eyes.
The expectations that we dumped on this young man were next to impossible because he is the 4th of the Staal brothers. Jared had 21-28-49 on a very weak Sudbury team that lost a lot of talent from when Marc Staal was on it.
Staal is a work in progress and we really have to really really really caution Ranger fans to have a lot of patience with Jared because he has to (a) grow into his body as like Marc he is painfully skinny for his frame, (b) he has the weight of the world on his shoulders because of all of his older brothers and their success and (c) patience can be rewarded.
We feel for Jared because of all the Staals he has been the one who has been the one who been called the 'most talented" but we have to be honest here. We think all the Staals are equally talented when they are used right so that is going to be the key how the Rangers get the most out of him. Use Jared Staal right.
Of course at the same time even we can not overlook how Jared will have 3 NHL experienced tutors so we too have to remind ourselves to temper ourselves. We believe that Jared could develop into a power forward with excellent discipline.
With the Rangers own pick at 50 then we would like the Rangers to start their own Frolunda Jr Alumni club by selecting Anton Gustafsson a 6'2 198 lb center. Gustafsson is the son of former NHLer and current head coach of the Swedish National team Bengt-Ake.
Gustafsson is a strong 2 way center with size and playmaking skills. Our friends in Europe think that Gustafsson will help with his ability to adapt to playing in any situation whether it is finesse or physical.
We could not help but notice that Gustafsson averaged almost a point a game last season with 32 points in 33 games. We like how his goals to assist ratio is almost dead equal (15-17) which is a sign of being a team player.
The Rangers will luck out here big time because of the issues with the lack of a Player Transfer Agreement between the IIHF and NHL once again. In other years Gustafsson would have gone at the end of the first round in our eyes so this one would be a huge steal.
Of course all this information we got to keep to ourselves so please nobody tell anyone what we have planned OK? We want these prospects for ourselves.
17 hours ago