The Original Full Round Mock Draft Site

Oct. 05, 2020 - Michael Stewart

2020 NHL Draft: New York Rangers could be the Big Winners in this Draft

Introduction: The NHL draft is moments away and the rumor mill is still buzzing with possible trades involving nearly every team including the New York Rangers. This article will focus on the New York Rangers who own the 1st overall pick in the draft after winning the lottery pick in dramatic fashion. Many NHL analyst predict the Rangers will hold onto the 1st overall pick and select LW Alexis Lafreniere; who is being compared to Sidney Crosby due to his success in the QMJHL. The Rangers have a total of 10 picks in the draft (two in the 1st, two in the 3rd, one in the 4th, 5th & 6th & three in the 7th). They also have decisions to make on their impending RFA/UFA such as: Center Ryan Strome, Forwards Phillip Di Giuseppe, Brendan Lemieux, Jasper Fast,  Defenseman Tony De’Angelo and Goalie Alexander Georgiev. It’s unclear which of these players the Rangers intend to re-sign, so at this time all are considered trading chips. The Rangers have already been active by trading long time Ranger Defensemen Marc Staal to the Detroit Red Wings for a 2021 2nd round pick and buying out future Hall of Fame goalie Henrik Lundqvist. These moves added more capital to their cap space; which is now around $23M. This mock draft will not include any trades, although I firmly believe the Rangers will be active (players/picks). Let’s get right to it and present the New York Rangers 2020 NHL mock draft:

Round 1

1st Overall Pick: Alexis Lafreniere (LW): Unless the Rangers are completely blown away with a deal & if they can still get center Quinton Byfield in the process; I can’t see them moving from this spot. Lefreniere would instantly be inserted in the top 6 among Ranger forwards this season and should provide them with 50-60 points as a rookie.

22nd Pick: Tyson Foerster (C): Rangers need more talent at the center position and selecting Foerster is a good start. Foerster has played both center and right wing and has a lethal shot with solid playmaking skills. It’s possible that a couple of defensemen could drop due to the talent at the forward position. If so, then the Rangers could shift gears and go in that direction.

Round 3

71st Pick: Yegor Sokolov (RW): Sokolov has good size (6’4/240) and is not afraid to use it anywhere on the ice. Sokolov scored 41 goals in 2019 mostly in the slot and could become more of a grinder in the NHL and do most of the dirty work in the corners and in front of net. The Rangers need size up front and Sokolov fills a need in the organization.

90th Pick: Alexander Nikishin (LD): Nikishin is a highlighted battery ram with devastating checks. Nikishin has good size (6’3/196) with room to grow and is more of a defensive minded Blue-liner. The Rangers could use more physical play from their defensemen on the left-side in their prospect pool as Nikishin needs to smooth out a few rough edges to be NHL ready by 2022.

Round 4

102nd Pick: Alex Cotton (RD): If the Rangers decide to trade Tony De’Angelo (rumor mill), it would make sense to replace him in the depth chart with a prospect in this draft. Cotton is a two-way defenseman with good size (6’2/185) and plays solid in all 3 zones. Cotton is an excellent skater and possesses great vision and has a shot that is already NHL ready.

Round 5

133rd Pick: Pavel Gogolev (RW): Gogolev plays off wing with a lethal shot from the left side. He tallied 45 goals in 2019 and he can score in a variety of ways. Gogolev has a solid work ethic with the puck on his slick, but needs the same commitment without the puck. Gogolev’s upside is too good to pass up in round 4. 

Round 6

164th Pick: Vsevolod Skotnikov (G): At some point the Rangers are going to draft a goalie, so in my mock draft I use the Rangers 6th round pick on Vsevold Skotnikov. Skotnikov posted an impressive .938 save percentage for the top junior program in Russia. In my opinion, the upside on Skotnikov is high and he could be one of the top sleepers in this draft at the goaltending position.

Round 7

195th Pick: Jackson Kunz (C): Kunz is big at 6’3/209 and put together a solid season in 2019 for the Shattuck St. Mary squad with 69 points in 45 games (40 goals). Kunz is a left hand shot and would need a couple of years of development. Kunz could be NHL ready by 2023.

196th Pick: Daniel Baker (LD): Baker has good size (6’4/185) and should be able to add more weight to his frame and get a little stronger to succeed at the NHL level. Baker is more advanced offensively with solid skating ability and a respectful shot. Baker needs to refine his defensive responsibilities and should have the luxury of developing at a comfortable pace and be NHL ready by 2023-24.

205th Pick: Jeremie Biakabutuka (RD): Biakabutuka would be considered a long term investment for the Rangers, but they would be willing to wait for the end results. Biakabutuka has excellent size (6’3/195) with more room to fill out. Biakabutuka has good mobility, speed and plays smart in his own zone.  Biakabutuka is more of a defensive minded blue-liner.

Final Thoughts: As I mentioned earlier, I believe the Rangers will be extremely active in this draft and project a possible trade or two. The Rangers don’t have a 2nd round pick in this draft; which was part of the Adam Fox trade with the Carolina Hurricanes. Hard for me to envision GM Jeff Gorton and President John Davidson sitting still between their 22nd pick and their 71st pick just twiddling their thumbs. So keep an eye on this along with possibly packaging a few picks to move down in the 1st if a certain prospects their like is still on the board.