The New York Rangers ended the 2015/2016 season by bowing out in the first round of the playoffs without much of a whimper. This was heart-wrenching, especially coming off of a successful regular season and back-to-back deep playoff runs. Frustration was apparent, and it ultimately bubbled to the surface during the exit interviews when Rangers defenseman Dan Boyle spouted off at Larry Brooks of the New York Post.
General Manager Jeff Gorton, however, had to keep a level head. His hands were nearly tied with bad contracts and his team appeared to be on the decline. If he wanted to go deep into the playoffs anytime soon, he needed to have a productive and effective offseason.
The New York Rangers entered the draft with a modest 6 draft picks, but none in the first two rounds. This, however, was not an unordinary situation for them to be in, as New York has not selected in the first round since 2012. This year, they also had two sixth round selections.
Sean Day – 3rd Round, 81st Overall
With their first selection in the draft, the Rangers picked one of the most controversial players in Sean Day. Day, a 6-2 229 pound blueliner for the Mississauga Steelheads, has had a rocky road towards the draft that has been mired in disappointment. Three years ago, Day was granted exceptional status by Hockey Canada. This allowed him to enter the OHL draft a year early but he has not even come close to meeting the expectations set by other players granted this status. Day was ranked anywhere from #51 to #103 by independent outlets. He spent the 2015-2016 season with the Mississauga Steelheads where he tallied 6 goals and 22 assists in 57 games.
Day is a puck moving defenseman that skates exceptionally well for his size. He has excellent mobility in any direction and possesses NHL quality tools, but doesn't currently have the hockey IQ to succeed. His production (or lack thereof) has been disappointing and mind-boggling to say the least. There could be some reward in this pick if he figures the game out. Due to his high (but unlikely to be reached) upside, I would definitely keep an eye on him for keeper league purposes.
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">ICYMI: we went 1 on 1 with 2016 3rd rounder <a href="https://twitter.com/SeanDay66">@SeanDay66</a> at the conclusion of <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/NYRPDC?src=hash">#NYRPDC</a>; VIDEO: <a href="https://t.co/Z7Dc6mEn2A">https://t.co/Z7Dc6mEn2A</a> <a href="https://t.co/yB1WcAloCK">pic.twitter.com/yB1WcAloCK</a></p>— New York Rangers (@NYRangers) <a href="https://twitter.com/NYRangers/status/750318050507943936">July 5, 2016</a></blockquote>
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