30 in 30 New York Rangers

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2016-07-21

New York Rangers Logo - photo courtesy: wikimedia.org
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.
 
Draft:
 
Sean Day - photo courtesy: nyt.com
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.
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<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>&mdash; New York Rangers (@NYRangers) <a href="https://twitter.com/NYRangers/status/750318050507943936">July 5, 2016</a></blockquote>
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Tarmo Reunanen – 4th Round, 98th Overall
Tarmo Reunanen is a sight Finnish defensemen that played in TPS' youth system during the 2015-2016 season. Reunanen was unfortunately kept out of action for most of the year due to injury.
Known for his offense, Reunanen scored two goals and added six assists for eight points in 11 league games for the TPS under-20 team. While TPS have him under contract through the end of next year, at 5-11 and 163 pounds, Reunanen needs to bulk up before being ready for professional hockey.
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<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Tarmo Reunanen not selected in the CHL import draft. I'm going to guess teams were under the impression he wouldn't come to North America.</p>&mdash; Adam Herman (@AdamZHerman) <a href="https://twitter.com/AdamZHerman/status/747842072699346944">June 28, 2016</a></blockquote>
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Tim Gettinger – 5th Round, 141st Overall
Tim Gettinger is an intriguing prospect because of a unique combination of size and skill. At 6-5 201 pounds, Gettinger has a pro frame and he may not be done growing. Even though he's one of the biggest players of the draft, Gettinger has some refined skills with the puck. He has nice hands, good finishing abilities, and he has displayed above average passing skills.
Gettinger spent the 2015-2016 season with the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds of the OHL. He recorded 17 goals and 22 assists for 39 points in 60 games. He has some sleeper potential for the future.
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<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Amazing feeling getting selected by the <a href="https://twitter.com/NYRangers">@NYRangers</a> today. I can't thank everyone enough for everything they have done. The fun starts now.</p>&mdash; Timmy Gettinger (@Timmy_Getts26) <a href="https://twitter.com/Timmy_Getts26/status/746777411744739329">June 25, 2016</a></blockquote>
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Gabriel Fontaine – 6th Round, 171st Overall
Gabriel Fontaine is a center for the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies. At 6-1 187 pounds, his size definitely isn't an issue. Fontaine had 20 goals and 25 assists for 45 points in 63 games. He also recorded 16 points in 20 playoff games. While he was passed over in the 2015 NHL Draft and played second fiddle to a stacked Rouyn-Noranda first line, Fontaine is a capable and well-rounded two-way forward that will look for a big boost in minutes with first-line center J.C. Beaudin graduating to the AHL. While he has a well-rounded game and is a hard worker, his relatively low ceiling and lack of dynamic offensive instincts will limit his NHL role.
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Tyler Wall – 6th Round, 174th Overall
Tyler Wall is quite possibly the best name that a goalie can have, and it certainly would make Arturs Irbe chuckle. While his name is unique, Wall's path to getting drafted may be even more distinctive. Wall played for the Leamington Flyers in the GOJHL, Ontario's Junior B hockey league. Usually a development league for under-18 players that aren't ready to make the jump to the NCAA/OHL/OJHL, it's very rare to see players drafted from the GOJHL.
In fact, no goalie that has ever played in the GOJHL has played at the NHL level yet. Jamie Phillips (WPG) and Mackenzie Blackwood (NJD) are the only GOJHL alumni goalies currently under contract of NHL teams.
But Wall is determined to be a trailblazer. He put up impressive numbers this year, leading the league in average goals against per game (1.29) and save percentage (94.0) of goalies playing more than 5 games. He also had the second fewest amount of losses in the league. Wall will be playing at the University of Massachusetts Lowell in the fall of 2016.
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<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">2016 6th rounder Tyler Wall warms up before this morning's scrimmage at <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/NYRPDC?src=hash">#NYRPDC</a> <a href="https://t.co/lNaoKpy57l">pic.twitter.com/lNaoKpy57l</a></p>&mdash; New York Rangers (@NYRangers) <a href="https://twitter.com/NYRangers/status/748156803406495744">June 29, 2016</a></blockquote>
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Ty Ronning – 7th Round, 201st Overall
Ty Ronning, the last minute invite to the CHL Top Prospects Game, impressed at almost every showing this year. However, the 5-9 165 pound Vancouver Giant somehow fell right into New York's lap in the 7th round. And some of this is justifiable. He is very small and the list of players his size that play an energetic role in the NHL is very short. It's not impossible for him to reach the NHL and play there for more than a few injury prone seasons, but it is unlikely.
However, Ronning has quite a bit of offensive talent and the smarts to adapt his game into whatever is necessary. He can really skate and he can handle the puck well at any speed. He excels in transition and no one will deny his pure offensive ability.
Ronning, like Wall, is determined to be a trailblazer. He notched 31 goals and 28 assists for 59 points in 67 games for a terrible Vancouver Giants team. Look for him to play on a line with Tyler Benson next year.
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Development Camp:
The New York Rangers announced their development camp roster just one day after the draft and stated that the camp would be held from June 27th to July 1st. Every one of the Rangers' 2016 draft choices was there with the exception of Tarmo Reunanen. The final roster featured 20 Rangers prospects, 10 invited players and one player under an AHL contract.
 
Invites:
Nick Betz – RW – Erie Otters (OHL)
Dmitri Buinitsky – RW – Dinamo Minsk (KHL)
Reid Duke – C – Brandon Wheat Kings (WHL)
Michael Joly – RW – Cape Breton Screaming Eagles (QMJHL) – AHL Contract
Turner Ottenbreit – D – Seattle Thunderbirds (WHL)
Matthew Plesa – RW – SK Lejon (Swedish Division 1)
Nicholas Plesa – C – SK Lejon (Swedish Division 1)
Matthew Plesa – LW – SK Lejon (Swedish Division 1)
C.J. Smith – LW – University of Massachusetts Lowell (NCAA)
Rylan Yaremko – D – West Kelowna Warriors (BCHL)
Zachary Zborosky – RW – Kootenay Ice (WHL)
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Videos:
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Offseason:
The Rangers have been very active this summer and have made some important moves before the NHL free agency window even began.
To kick off the offseason, the Rangers officially signed Pavel Buchnevich while also saying goodbye to three 2014 picks (Keegan Iverson, Richard Nejezchleb, and Ryan Mantha), whose rights expired on June 1st. The Rangers remained relatively quiet throughout June, but they made two minor trades to tweak their defensive core. They acquired a 6th and a 7th round pick for Keith Yandle's negotiating rights, and paid a 4th round pick for Nick Holden's services. While it had been clear for a while that they could not keep Yandle, Holden is not an adequate replacement. Yandle's two-way impact on the Rangers' blueline cannot be understated, and Holden cannot replace either of those facets of the game.
On July 1st the Rangers said goodbye to big-ticket deadline rental Eric Staal and steady veterans in Daniel Paille, Dominic Moore, and Dan Boyle. They signed Nathan Gerbe, Adam Clendening, and Michael Paliotta on the first day of free agency. Paliotta, who wasn't qualified by Columbus due to his high qualifying offer, still has legitimate NHL potential and will look to shine among what could be a deep Hartford blue line.
In terms of re-signings, the Rangers inked notable skaters Mat Bodie, Nicklas Jensen, and J.T. Miller to new contracts. Miller, who has had a breakout year with the Rangers, will look to solidify himself as a legitimate top six talent. Mat Bodie will likely return as captain of the Hartford Wolf Pack, but his teammate Nicklas Jensen will vie for a spot with the Rangers in what is likely his last chance to make the NHL before he falls victim to the waivers numbers game. The Rangers still have Chris Kreider unsigned.
The Rangers also sent Derick Brassard and a 7th round pick to the Ottawa Senators for Mika Zibanejad and a 2nd round pick. While Zibanejad is much younger than Brassard and nearly as productive offensively, Brassard is far more capable defensively than Zibanejad. Long story short, the Rangers get younger and add some potential in this package, while also moving some salary and term off of the books. They get a slightly worse on paper, but are hoping that Zibanejad will take steps in his new environment.
 
-Dylan Finan
 
 

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