Rangers Should Value Their 2nd Round Picks
How quickly fans can forget. It's that time of the year when fans play GM for their team and create trade scenarios to benefit their favorite team out of thin air. Ranger fans, myself included, are no exception.
Many of the different trade proposals we've made as Rangers fans are based on the two second round picks we have; our own and the one we received courtesy of Carolina for sending the Hurricanes Defenseman Bobby Sanguinetti. However, before we so freely give away one of those picks in any trade for a rental player, maybe we need to consider how valuable those picks can be.
Since 2004, the Rangers have had great success with players they've selected in the second round. Here's a list of the players selected in round number 2 by the Rangers of each draft since 2004:
Darin Olver RW (36th Overall)
Dane Byers RW (48th Overall)
Bruce Graham C (51st Overall)
Brandon Dubinsky C (60th Overall)
Mike Sauer D (40th Overall)
Artem Anisimov C (54th Overall)
Antoine Lafleur G (48th Overall)
Derek Stepan C (51st Overall)
Ethan Werek C (47th Overall)
Christian Thomas RW (40th Overall)
That's 10 players selected and only 3 of whom would I declare "busts". Anoine Lafleur is out of hockey just 3+ years after being the 48th player chosen in 2007. Darin Olver and Bruce Campbell were both chosen in the 2004 draft but neither has appeared in the NHL.
Of the players left, 4 have made a mark in the NHL with the Rangers already. Dubinsky leads this year's Rangers team in goals and scoring with 17 and 38 respectively. Mike Sauer has established himself as a top 6 blue liner in his rookie season and is a +10; a mark good enough to be second behind Marc Staal on the team. Anisimov has 22 points in his second season at just 22 years-old. Derek Stepan, as a 20 year-old rookie, has 12 goals and 25 points and has earned his spot with his solid all-around play.
Two other players, Ethan Werek and Christian Thomas, are both highly thought of by the Blue Shirts organization. Werek has battled injuries but has 30 points in 27 games for Kingston in the OHL. Thomas, the son of longtime NHL F Steve Thomas, is tearing up the OHL. He has 29 goals and 54 points in 39 games with the Oshawa Generals and is currently 15th in the OHL in scoring (5th in goals). Some feel Thomas should have earned a spot On Canada's U20 entry at the recent World Juniors tournament.
All-in-all I believe it's fair to say the Rangers have had more than their fair share of success with their 2nd round picks. Shouldn't that make us a little uneasy about possibly including one of those precious choices in a trade?
I see where logic would say 1st round picks are more valuable than 2nd round picks but the Rangers have shown second-rounders are important too. I think we need to properly value that selection in any trade we may possibly make.
In my last post I suggested the Rangers should look at Bryan McCabe and Marty Reasoner to address our problems on the PP and in the faceoff circle. Of course in the back of my mind I would have been very willing to move one of those 2nd rounders in that kind of deal. I've backed off that position since.
Bryan McCabe's injury last night was part of the reason. He thought it was a good idea to block a shot with his face and has now had surgery to repair some facial fractures. He is out indefinitely as a result. To his credit, McCabe re-entered the game wearing a face-shield. That's manly right there.
Okay, I'd still be willing to move one or maybe both of the Rangers 2nd rounders in the right deal. Although, after looking at some of the players the Rangers have added to the organization (thanks in large part to Gordie Clark) with previous 2nd rounders, I wouldn't mind one bit if they kept both selections.