The Rangers, who didn’t get a pick until the second round, addressed their goaltending needs in the future. But before we get to that, let’s not forget that the Ranger Nation cannot complain about the club’s march to the Stanley Cup Final.
However, if there is one area that needs stocking — at least short-term — it is offense. In that regard, the Rangers will rely on trades and free agent signings from here to opening night.
When it comes to the long-term, eventually there will be a need to replace Henrik Lundqvist. And while the club has a winner in Cam Talbot, as the Montreal Canadiens discovered, it’s good to have a backup for the backup.
The fact that the Rangers did not get a pick until the 59th overall selection should not in the least cause any concern. Consider how well they have done over the years when picking from the third round and thereafter:
Ryan Callahan, 127th, ’04; Carl Hagelin, 168th, ’07; Dale Weise, 111th, ’08.
Slats knows from experience that there’s always gold to be found in the late round picks. Exhibit A is King Henrik and exhibit B is Hagelin, who is on his way to becoming a regular 20-goal scorer.
As for goalies Brandon Halverson (59th overall) and Igor Shesterkin (118th overall), they follow promising goalie MacKenzie Skapski, who was drafted last year from the Kootenay Ice.
Most interesting are the bloodlines of lower Ranger picks such as Ryan Mantha (104th overall) and Tyler Nanne (142th overall).
Mantha’s uncle is Moe Mantha Jr, who played 656 career NHL games with the Winnipeg Jets, Pittsburgh Penguins, Edmonton Oilers, Minnesota North Stars and Philadelphia Flyers.
Nanne’s grandfather is U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame member Lou Nanne, who played 10 seasons with the Minnesota North Stars and served as the team’s general manager for another 13 seasons.