The New York Rangers have been rebuilding for a few years, but now they have an outstanding farm system with many outstanding prospects. Rangers general manager Jeff Gorton and his group of scouts have done a great job of adding assets for the future.
Most of their prospects have come through the NHL Entry Draft, but they have also added prospects via trade as well. Earlier this off-season, the New York Rangers brokered a deal with the Carolina Hurricanes for defensive prospect Adam Fox.
With that being said, let’s take a look at the top ten prospects in their farm system.
2019-20 Top 10 New York Rangers Prospects
1. Kaapo Kakko, RW, TPS (Liiga)
HT/WT: 6-2/190 lbs
Drafted: 2nd overall in the 2019 draft by the New York Rangers
Earlier this off-season, the New York Rangers selected Kaapo Kakko second overall in the Entry Draft. The Turku, Finland native is coming off of a great season with TPS in which he tallied 22 goals and 16 assists in 45 games. In addition to his performance for TPS, he was part of the Finnish team that won the gold at the World Junior Championships in Vancouver/Victoria, British Columbia.
Kakko has a high hockey IQ. He is always making smart decisions with the puck. When Kakko has the puck on his stick blade, good luck trying to steal the puck from him. His puck protection is top-notch. Kakko is a beast in the corners and great in traffic. His skating is flawless. There is a lot to like about Kakko and Rangers fans have a lot to look forward to.
2. K’Andre Miller, D, University of Wisconsin (NCAA)
HT/WT: 6-4/207 lbs
Drafted: 22nd overall in the 2018 draft by the New York Rangers
K’Andre Miller is an outstanding defensive prospect. He was converted from a forward to a defenseman and has not lost a beat. Miller can skate and is an outstanding two-way defenseman. He is mobile, has great speed and his positioning are on point. In addition, he can be physical when needed and reads his opposition well when they are attempting to go up the ice with the puck. He reads passes well and often finds ways to circumvent offensive breakouts.
This past season, he played in 26 games with the University of Wisconsin Badgers. He tallied 5 goals and 17 assists. Miller is an integral component to the Badgers and he will have quite a bit of reinforcement coming next season. The Badgers have recruited well and brought Alex Turcotte (Los Angeles Kings prospect), Cole Caufield (Montréal Canadiens prospect) and Dylan Holloway (Draft Eligible – 2020) to town.
3. Vitali Kravtsov, RW, Traktor Chelyabinsk (KHL)
HT/WT: 6-4/183 lbs
Drafted: 9th overall in the 2018 draft by the New York Rangers
Vitali Kravtsov had an excellent season with Traktor Chelyabinsk. In 50 games played, he produced 8 goals and 13 assists. In addition to his play for Traktor, the 19-year-old suited for Russia at the World Juniors and fared pretty well. He played in 7 games and mustered up 6 points (2 goals and 4 assists).
Kravtsov recently signed his entry-level contract with the New York Rangers and could be a regular in the Rangers’ lineup next season. The Vladivostok, Russia native is a big winger. He is physical/gritty, but at the same time has quick feet and great speed. In a nutshell, Kravtsov is a perfect power forward. With his physicality and speed, he has the potential to be one of the best power forwards in the NHL. Power forwards with great speed can be quite rare.
4. Igor Shestyorkin, G, SKA St. Petersburg (KHL)
HT/WT: 6-1/183 lbs
Drafted: 118th overall in the 2014 draft by the New York Rangers
Like Kravstov, Rangers goaltending prospect Igor Shestyorkin signed an entry-level deal earlier this summer. The Moscow native had an outstanding season with SKA St. Petersburg last year. In 28 appearances, he recorded a 1.11 GAA and a .953 SV%. His GAA and SV% were the best in the KHL last season. Plus, he beat out some tough competition including New York Islanders goaltending prospect Ilya Sorokin.
Shestyorkin will likely suit for the Hartford Wolf Pack (Rangers AHL affiliate) next season. He will be able to show off his excellent reflexes and solid transitions at the AHL level. After a year or two developing at the AHL level, he should be able to make the jump to the NHL. Given that Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist is near the end of his career, the Rangers could certainly use Shestyorkin and his low/wide playing style to fill in for King Henrik.
5. Adam Fox, D, Harvard University (NCAA)
HT/WT: 5-11/181 lbs
Drafted: 66th overall in the 2016 draft by the Calgary Flames
Adam Fox is coming off of his last season at Harvard University. He had tallied 9 goals and 39 assists in 33 games for the Crimson. Throughout his collegiate career, Harvard fans have had the opportunity to watch Fox grow and develop. Since coming to Cambridge, Massachusetts, Fox has been able to work on his stick-handling, vision, skating, and power-play play. His development at Harvard has paid off and now he is ready to play in the NHL.
It was rumored earlier this summer that Fox was going to return to Harvard for another season if the Carolina Hurricanes didn’t have a spot for him or if the Hurricanes didn’t trade his rights. With Carolina in a tough spot, they pulled the trigger and dealt Fox to the Rangers earlier in the off-season.
The Rangers will be his third organization since being drafted. He was drafted by the Calgary Flames originally and was part of the Dougie Hamilton/Noah Hanifin trade with the Carolina Hurricanes. With the trade to the Rangers, he has the opportunity to join a young defensive unit and continue to grow alongside fellow youngsters. The Rangers will be patient with Fox and will allow him to make mistakes at the NHL level as he continues to grow.
6. Lias Andersson, C/LW, New York Rangers (NHL) and Hartford Wolf Pack (AHL)
HT/WT: 5-11/205 lbs
Drafted: 7th overall in the 2017 draft by the New York Rangers
Lias Andersson has taken a while to break out at the NHL level. Last season, he played in 42 games for the Rangers and failed to produce more than 6 points. The Rangers felt that the Swede needed more time in the AHL and sent him down to Hartford. During his 36 game stint in Hartford, he managed to tally 6 goals and 14 assists. Those are not bad numbers, but he might need some more time in the AHL before the Rangers experiment with Andersson at the NHL level again.
In terms of Andersson’s playing style, similarly to Kakko, Andersson protects the puck well. When he is carrying the puck, he won’t give up it very often. Andersson is great in puck battles and loves to forecheck. He is always puck hungry and has a robust hockey IQ.
7. Nils Lundkvist, D, Luleå HF (SHL) and Luleå HF J20 (SuperElit)
HT/WT: 5-11/174 lbs
Drafted: 28th overall in the 2018 draft by the New York Rangers
Nils Lundkvist is an undersized defenseman, but he makes up for it with accurate passing and his ability to help drive scoring chances in the offensive zone. In addition, Lundkvist is a great puck-moving defenseman and loves to showcase his elite passing on the power-play.
Last season, the Piteå, Sweden native played in 41 games for Luleå HF and 4 games for Luleå HF J20. In addition, he played in 5 games for Team Sweden at the World Juniors in British Columbia. As mentioned above, the bulk of his time was spent with Luleå HF in the SHL. During his time in the SHL, he recorded 3 goals and 7 assists. While his offensive numbers are not high. the SHL tends to be lower scoring than many North American leagues.
Lundkvist will likely have far more offensive success in North America than in Sweden and will be able to rack up assist after assist with his top-notch passing when he makes the jump to come to North America.
8. Matthew Robertson, D, Edmonton Oil Kings (WHL)
HT/WT: 6-4/201 lbs
Drafted: 49th overall in the 2019 draft by the New York Rangers
Last season, Matthew Robertson played in 52 games for the WHL’s Edmonton Oil Kings. He tallied 7 goals and 26 assists. Robertson’s offensive productivity has been improving from year to year. Perhaps, next season, Robertson will be able to hit the 40 point plateau.
Robertson features great mobility and loves to play along the boards. If his opposition is playing with the puck along the boards, they should be ready to battle Robertson as he lives for puck battles along the boards. In addition, Robertson’s backward skating is excellent. With his speed and skating, he is a dangerous defenseman who is ready for any breakout.
9. Morgan Barron, C, Cornell University (NCAA)
HT/WT: 6-2/209 lbs
Drafted: 174th overall in the 2017 draft by the New York Rangers
Morgan Barron is coming off of a breakout season at Cornell University. Barron’s freshman year was not great, but he made up for it with his performance during his sophomore campaign. In 36 games played, the Halifax, Nova Scotia native posted 15 goals and 19 assists.
Over time, Barron’s passing has evolved and has become much better. His passing is on point and he uses his outstanding vision to identify the best teammates to pass the puck to. In addition, Barron has solid speed and can be difficult to slow down, especially when he is carrying the puck.
10. Zachary Jones, D, Tri-City Storm (USHL)
HT/WT: 5-10/176 lbs
Drafted: 68th overall in the 2019 draft by the New York Rangers
The third-round pick from this year’s draft has the potential to be a steal for the New York Rangers. The left-handed defenseman produced 7 goals and 45 assists for the USHL’s Tri-City Storm this past season. He will be taking his talents to UMass Amherst next season and will be joining Marc Del Gaizo (Nashville Predators prospect), Filip Lindberg (Minnesota Wild prospect) and John Leonard (San Jose Sharks prospect) in Amherst, Massachusetts.
Jones is a solid offensive defenseman with great skating, the ability to complete gorgeous stretch passing and is a solid stick-handler. In addition, Jones is efficient at getting the puck away from his opposition. Even if his opposition is coming at him at full speed, Jones can still find ways to maintain the puck and avoid giveaways.