The hockey gods were on the New York Rangers side Tuesday night in moving up to second overall in the 2019 NHL Entry Draft.
For the first time in franchise history, the New York Rangers will select in the top three of the NHL Entry Draft, snagging the second overall pick in the NHL Draft Lottery.
— New York Rangers (@NYRangers) April 10, 2019
New York entered the night in the sixth-best odds to win the draft, but considering historical evidence, there was not much optimism. The feeling was the team’s three points in the final two games cost them a chance to be top-five.
That wasn’t the case.
They joined Chicago in moving from outside the top-three, and all of a sudden the future of this franchise seems have changed drastically. Yes, most are saying this is a deep draft, but there are two players who have set themselves apart in this class.
Jack Hughes is expected to go first overall, where the New Jersey Devils will be picking and he is without a doubt the best-rated prospect the draft has to offer. The second best prospect after him, Kaapo Kakko, will most likely be the name fans hear general manager Jeff Gorton announce in June.
Kakko is an 18-year-old Finnish winger who scored 22 goals in 45 games last year. In the World Junior Championships, he expanded his draft stock scoring five points in seven games, leading Finland to the gold medal.
After the trade deadline, the New York Rangers have been talking about accelerating their rebuild and moving up four slots this summer is the first step to doing just that.
The 2019 NHL Entry Draft will take place on June 21.