Adam Sykora was their first pick. The fact that they were picking at 63 wasn’t ideal. There were some rumors that Sykora was shooting up the charts, so I feel like they did well here. Offensively, he has a sneaky wrist shot and is good around the net. I like his two-step quickness. His effort at the World Championships boosted his stock. I look at him as a left wing. In his Slovak League, he would get hammered in the defensive zone. So, he needs to work on his battle overall. He has a second-line ceiling.
Bryce McConnell-Barker is a player I had my eye on and had in my top 75. I think getting him at 97 was great value. He played in all situations and had a 50% face-off percentage according to InStat. He has a good wrist shot. Strong around the net. Excellent battle along the wall, and he’s very engaged defensively. Must work on his two-step quickness. He could be a bottom six NHLer someday.
Noah Laba is a 6’2” center who has a 50% puck battle according to InStat. In the USHL I saw him play second line center. I like his physical play. The fact that he misses on passes kept him from being a point-per-game player. He’s can score in the slot. Drafted at 111, if he can play 4th line center, there’s nothing wrong with that. Let’s see what he does at Colgate.
Victor Mancini is a 6”4” defenseman. In two years, he went from playing in Frolunda, the USHL, and the University of Nebraska Omaha. His dad was the U17 coach for Team USA, and now he’s the assistant executive director, so he knows Chris Drury for sure. He was 52% on puck battles and has a good wrist shot and one-timer. I think he’s an average defender right now. I’m not sure what role he would play at the next level.
Maxim Barbashev is Ivan’s brother. I don’t think he has the offense that Ivan has. Maxim hits as his brother does and he’s a sneaky skater as well. He battles to get to the net and can score in a variety of ways. He’s a solid left-wing prospect. I did have him in my Top 75. There’s a lot of upside with this player. He could play anywhere from the second line to the fourth line in the NHL if it all hits right.
Zakary Karpa is a project. I saw him a few years ago at the All-American Prospects Game. He doesn’t do anything great but isn’t a bad player. His skating is ok and he has a good hockey I.Q. He’s just a center who needs a lot of development. After four years at Harvard and a few in the AHL, we will know. His dad, Dave, played for the Rangers.
The Rangers did a nice job with limited assets.