The New York Rangers remarkable 2021-22 season has officially come to an end. It featured 102 regular and postseason games, and each of them featured some incredible moments.
By making the Eastern Conference Finals and winning the first two postseason series against Pittsburgh and Carolina, the Rangers forfeited their first-round selection to the Winnipeg Jets. This is, of course, due to the Andrew Copp trade at the trade deadline.
But should the Rangers go by another means to get back into the first night of the 2022 NHL Draft?
The current draft selections for the Rangers this offseason are the second-round, fourth-round, fifth-round, and sixth-round. At first glance, it is not the worst thing in the world to try and get into that first round, especially if they can also keep their second-round selection. But, is it really necessary.
By making the conference finals, they will be selecting toward the end of the second round, so their value for that pick is good but not great. They will not be able to get back into the first round with that alone, so they will have to package it. The price may be too steep for the Rangers to get back in, and it doesn’t seem like a need this offseason.
Some Rangers fans agree on the matter.
Why Shouldn’t They?
The Rangers have a solid squad at the moment. And they have an influx of more young talent just chomping at the bits to get their shot at the NHL level. Having that surplus is a great thing to have, but having too much of it creates problems. That is why the Rangers should not try and get back into the first round.
The younger players, or “the kids,” shined this season and really made an impact in the offseason. They showed that the future is now and that they have grown into their own in an accelerated amount of time. There is no reason to think of this team as a team that will perform better in the future. There is no need to think of the Rangers as a team that will eventually be great when the youth gets better with time. That time is now, and the “championship window” is right now, not tomorrow.
Some notable players of “tomorrow” will be making their Broadway debuts before we know it. This includes recently re-signed Vitali Kravtsov if he is kept and not used as a trade piece. Brennan Othmann scored 50 goals and 47 assists in 66 games with the Flint Firebirds of the OHL and Ryder Korczak of the Moose Jaw Warriors in the WHL. Korczak contributed 79 points in 66 games this past season and can be a dark-horse call-up going into next season.
The Rangers should not try to buy their way into the first round. It is a good draft class, don’t get me wrong, but their window is now. There are plenty of additional pieces in the system to keep this window open for the next five, six, or even seven seasons. I would expect the Rangers to focus only on their pending Unrestricted and Restricted Free Agents this offseason and see who doesn’t re-sign their deal around the league.