If the New York Rangers‘ quality eventually is matched by the quantity provided by the Blueshirts’ first two draft picks on Saturday in Buffalo, some day there’ll be dancing on 33rd Street and Seventh Avenue.
To stretch a point, one could say that GM Jeff Gorton got himself a good get on a sunny day.
The “get” is Ohio-born left wing Tim Gettinger who boasts an Empire State Building physique at 6’6”, 203 pounds.
Seeing the light of “day,” Gordon first went for another behemoth, defenseman Sean Day, who weighs in at 6’3”, 229 pounds.
And if you want to get analytical about it, together they measure 12’9″ and weigh 432 pounds. That, of course, is less important than what looms as Rangers luck.
Each of the picks suggests pleasant surprises, starting with Day who was taken by Gorton as the 81st overall selection.
Skating for the Ontario Hockey League’s Mississauga Steelheads, Day knew that Blueshirts had been scouting him — and he liked that and the long-range possibility of playing on Seventh Avenue.
“New York is an Original Six team and that played into my desire to go to the Rangers,” Day explains. “I like the fact that they wanted me and picked me four seconds in; they didn’t have to think about it.”
Fitness aware, Day reports that he’s down in “body fat” from 19 percent to 12 percent and wastes no time providing his own scouting report.
“I bring a solid, two-way game,” he reveals, “and I’m working on my offensive skills every day. I’ve come a long way with my defensive game and using my big body. I hope to bring something new that maybe the Rangers don’t have.”
The Hockey News’ Draft Preview had pegged Day to be selected in the 67th spot. With that in mind, one could say that the Rangers did well corralling him fourteen notches higher.
In one-on-one interviews, Day appears mature and insightful about his future. No, he doesn’t expect to crack the Manhattan varsity next September.
“I need another year of Junior hockey just for mental development, speed and to become a dominant force,” Day asserts. “I have to be realistic. Before hopping into the pro ranks, I need more time development-wise.”
Gorton’s second pick is wise as well. In fact, Tim Gettinger could be the get of all gets when you consider independent scouting reports.
Both The Hockey News and International Scouting Services figured that the native of North Olmstead, Ohio would be picked as high as 52 (THN) or 53 (ISS).
That Gorton was able to secure the OHL Soo Greyhounds forward 89 slots later looks like a prized development.
“If you put all of Tim’s assets together,” says one scout, “you’re talking about an absolute home run.”
Then there’s The Hockey News‘ evaluation: “Talent hawks are excited about his raw potential. Gettinger is only beginning to discover what he’s capable of accomplishing.”
The New Jersey Devils accomplished something meaningful on Day Two when GM Ray Shero acquired forward Beau Bennett from the Stanley Cup champion Penguins for a third-round pick.
Bear in mind that the 6’2”, 195-pound right wing was Pittsburgh’s first choice (20th overall) in the 2010 Entry Draft.
What’s more, it’s evident that a change of scenery could have a very positive effect on both the California-born Bennett and the Devs.
“Beau needs a change,” says Shero. “He’s highly skilled and it’s worth it for us to take a chance on skill. Plus, we — John Hynes, Tom Fitzgerald, Alain Nasreddine and I — all know Beau.
“Hopefully, it’s a fresh start for him and for us. If he stays healthy we know we have a pretty good player.”
It’s a low risk-high reward move for New Jersey costing the club only the 77th pick.
“This is a steal for Shero,” says Leo Scaglione, Jr. who covers the Devils for New York Hockey Journal. “Bennett could be the ideal third-line right wing.”
With their second pick — 41st overall — New Jersey chose winger Nathan Bastian also out of Mississauga.
“He’s a big winger who can make plays,” says The Hockey News.
Scaglione adds: “Nathan is best friends and was a linemate with the Devils first pick, Michael McLeod. They can grow together in Juniors, then Albany and New Jersey.”
All things considered, for the Rangers and Devils, good gets on Day Two of the Draft. What the future holds for the picks remains to be seen.