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Everything You Need to Know About the Rangers' 7 Day 2 Draft Picks

New York selects 3 defensemen, 4 forwards in Rounds 2-7 of the 2019 NHL Draft

by Jess Isner

VANCOUVER -- With the second overall pick in the 2019 NHL Draft, the Rangers knew they were assured of getting a great player. That much was a well-known commodity. 

On Friday night in Vancouver, they acquired that player in Kaapo Kakko, who is intended to be a franchise cornerstone for years to come. 

But on Day 2 of this year's draft, they made seven additional selections, most of them a bit more under-the-radar than Kakko but many of whom could still become marquee players down the line. 

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Rangers Make Eight Selections in 2019 NHL Entry Draft

Blueshirts select five forwards and three defensemen

by New York Rangers @NYRangers

During the 2019 NHL Entry Draft, which was held at Rogers Arena in Vancouver, British Columbia on Friday, June 21 and Saturday, June 22, the Rangers selected eight players. With their eight picks in the Draft, the Blueshirts selected five forwards and three defensemen.

The Rangers entered the 2019 NHL Entry Draft with the second overall pick. The Blueshirts selected second or higher in the Draft for only the third time since the NHL Amateur/Entry Draft's inception in 1963 and for the first time since 1966, when the team chose Brad Park with the second overall pick.

On Friday, the Rangers used the second overall pick in the 2019 NHL Entry Draft to select forward Kaapo Kakko. Kakko, 18, skated in 45 games with TPS of Liiga (Finnish Elite League) this past season, registering 22 goals and 16 assists for 38 points, along with a plus-one rating and 10 penalty minutes. Kakko's 22 goals in 2018-19 were the most any U18 player has registered in one season in the history of Finland's top league, breaking the record of 21 set by Aleksander Barkov in 2012-13. The 6-2, 194-pounder was named the Rookie of the Year in Liiga in 2018-19.

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Rangers Select Kaapo Kakko 2nd Overall: 'Couldn't Be More Excited'

Jeff Gorton, John Davidson call high-octane Finnish winger a potential cornerstone piece

by Jess Isner

VANCOUVER -- It has been exactly 73 days since New York won the lottery and drew the second overall pick in the 2019 NHL Draft. On Friday night in Vancouver, the Rangers finally got their guy. 

On Friday, the Rangers selected Finnish forward Kaapo Kakko out of Liiga's TPS, and after 73 days of waiting, General Manager Jeff Gorton could finally let himself truly, honestly think about what a future with Kaapo Kakko looks like for his hockey club. 

"We got a chance at a special player," Gorton said. "We all saw what he did over the course of the season. We saw that he's won a few championships and excelled at every one of them. It's an exciting day for us. To win the lottery almost seems like months ago, and here we are today to finally call the name. It's just an exciting day."

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Photos: Kaapo Kakko's Draft Night

by New York Rangers @NYRangers

View photos from Kaapo Kakko's first night as a member of the Rangers organization after the Blueshirts selected him with the second overall pick in the 2019 NHL Draft.

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Rangers Select Kaapo Kakko

Blueshirts select 6-2, 194-pound forward with the second overall pick of the 2019 NHL Entry Draft

by New York Rangers @NYRangers

With the second overall pick in the 2019 NHL Entry Draft, the Rangers selected forward Kaapo Kakko.

Kakko, 18, skated in 45 games with TPS of Liiga (Finnish Elite League) this past season, registering 22 goals and 16 assists for 38 points, along with a plus-one rating and 10 penalty minutes. Kakko's 22 goals in 2018-19 were the most any U18 player has registered in one season in the history of Finland's top league, breaking the record of 21 set by Aleksander Barkov in 2012-13. In addition, Kakko's 38 points this past season were the third-most in one season by a U18 player in the history of Finland's top league, trailing only Barkov (48 in 2012-13) and Mikael Granlund (40 in 2009-10).

The 6-2, 194-pounder was named the Rookie of the Year in Liiga in 2018-19. Kakko tied for sixth in Liiga (and led all rookies) in goals during the past season. He also tied for second in the league in game-winning goals (seven). Kakko led TPS in goals and game-winning goals, tied for second on the team in shot attempts (228), and tied for third in points this past season, and he also ranked second among team forwards in average ice time in 2018-19 (18:11). He ranked third among all Liiga rookies (and led Liiga rookie forwards) in average ice time during the past season. Kakko also skated in five games with TPS during the 2019 Playoffs, registering four goals and one assist for five points. His four goals during the 2019 Playoffs were tied for the second-most by a U18 player in one year in the history of Liiga (Patrik Laine holds the record - 10 during the 2016 Playoffs). Kakko tied for fourth among all players in Liiga - and led all rookies in the league - in goals during the playoffs this past year. Including the playoffs, he registered 20 points (14 goals, six assists) over his final 18 games of the season.

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Jacob Trouba is No Stranger to Rangers Roster

The newly acquired defenseman counts Brady Skjei among his childhood friends; played with Brendan Lemieux, Boo Nieves

by Jess Isner

It was just a normal Monday evening for Rangers defenseman Brady Skjei. He was at home in Lakeville, Minn., when, just before 7 PM, he received a FaceTime from longtime buddy Jacob Trouba. 

"He just said, 'What's up, teammate?'" Skjei said of learning that his childhood friend had been traded from the Winnipeg Jets to the New York Rangers. "We were both really pumped on the call - a few yells of 'Let's go!' We were both thrilled."

Skjei met Trouba - acquired on Monday in exchange for Neal Pionk and the 20th overall pick in Friday's NHL Draft - when they were sophomores in high school and were trying out for the National Team Development Program in Ann Arbor, Mich. They played there together for two years (2010-2012) before setting off for college - Skjei to the University of Minnesota and Trouba to the University of Michigan. 

At Michigan, Trouba played for one season with Rangers forward Boo Nieves. Then he signed with the Jets, where he played two of his six seasons with Ranger Brendan Lemieux, who was acquired from Winnipeg at the 2019 Trade Deadline. 

So although New York presents quite a change of scenery from what Trouba has known for the last six years in Winnipeg, the Rangers dressing room will sort of feel just like home. 

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Mika Zibanejad's Draft Diary: 'Cherish It & Don't Take it For Granted'

Rangers center thinks back on the Combine, the bike test, his draft night & being traded to New York

by Mika Zibanejad | @mikazibanejad

The most stressful 10 minutes of my life weren't while I was waiting to be drafted. 

They were actually after I had been traded. 

The day I found out I had been traded from the Senators to the Rangers, I was Facetiming with my brother because I had just built a new house in Ottawa. I had been there for one week exactly. I was showing my brother around the house, and I got a phone call from a number I didn't recognize. So I didn't answer it. 

Then, my phone died immediately.

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Rangers Scheduled to Make Eight Selections in 2019 NHL Entry Draft

Blueshirts hold second overall selection for the first time since 1966

by New York Rangers @NYRangers

Entering the 2019 NHL Entry Draft, which takes place at Rogers Arena in Vancouver, British Columbia on Friday, June 21 and Saturday, June 22, the New York Rangers are scheduled to make eight selections. New York currently has one pick in the first round, two picks in the second round, and one pick each in the third round, fourth round, fifth round, sixth round, and seventh round.

On April 9, 2019, the Rangers won the second overall pick in the 2019 NHL Entry Draft through the NHL's Draft Lottery. New York won a lottery pick (first, second, or third overall) for the first time since the inception of the Draft Lottery. By securing the second overall pick in the 2019 NHL Entry Draft, the Rangers are picking second or higher in the Draft for only the third time since the NHL Amateur/Entry Draft's inception in 1963. Prior to 2019, the last time the Rangers had the second overall pick or higher was in 1966, when the Blueshirts selected Brad Park with the second overall pick.         

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Trouba Wants to Build with Blueshirts

by Michael Obernauer

The 2018-19 season was, by just about any measure, the best year yet in the career of Jacob Trouba. So as he embarks on a momentous summer in which he'll change teams for the first time in that career, just how is Trouba measuring himself?

"I was happy with how I played," Trouba said of his 2018-19 campaign, adding: "I think there's more there."

Trouba will begin his quest for those higher climes of hockey as a New York Ranger, and he'll begin it right away: The big American blueliner became the newest member of the Blueshirts on Monday night when he was acquired in a trade with the Winnipeg Jets. The Rangers sent Neal Pionk the other way, along with a first-round draft pick that they were simply returning to Winnipeg after acquiring it in a separate deal back in February.

Trouba is a 6-foot-3, 202-pound righty-shot defenseman who can play in all situations and who established all kinds of career highs in 2018-19. He was one of 13 NHL blueliners to hit the 50-point mark, and ranked sixth among all skaters with 171 blocked shots. Often matching up against opponents' top lines, he ranked second on the Jets in time on ice (22:53) and shorthanded time on ice (2:28), sixth in power-play TOI (2:04), and was the only Jet to get into all 82 games.

"It was a little bit different in that there were some injuries that opened up a little more opportunity," the newest Blueshirt said on Tuesday. "I think I have more that I can achieve, more that I want to achieve, another level of my game that I think I can get to. Overall, yeah, it was a good season; I think with a little bit more opportunity I showed what I'm capable of. But I still don't think I've shown everything yet."

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Rangers Announce 2019 Pre-Season Schedule

by New York Rangers @NYRangers

The New York Rangers announced their 2019 pre-season schedule today. During the pre-season, the Blueshirts will play three games at Madison Square Garden and six contests in 11 days. The start time for all six games is 7:00 p.m.

The Rangers will play against three Metropolitan Division opponents during the pre-season: New Jersey, the NY Islanders, and Philadelphia. The Blueshirts begin the pre-season with a home-and-home set against the Devils on Wednesday, September 18 at MSG and Friday, September 20 at Prudential Center. After the Rangers' contest in New Jersey on September 20, the team will travel to Philadelphia to complete a back-to-back set on Saturday, September 21 at Wells Fargo Center.

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