Day Two of the 2003 NHL Entry Draft yielded seven Rangers picks, which spanned a cross-section of players from five countries and seven different leagues.
With their fourth round pick, the Rangers selected 6-2, 183-pound Michigan State defenseman Corey Potter
. Rated 90th among North American skaters by NHL Central Scouting, Potter is an aggressive, honest blueliner who gives a strong effort on every shift. A teammate of Rangers 2002 second round choice Lee Falardeau
, the Lansing Michigan native collected eight points (four goals, four assists), along with 26 penalty minutes in 35 games this past season.
In the fifth round, the Blueshirts tabbed Kootenay Ice winger Nigel Dawes
, a speedy, gifted scorer who led his club with 92 points (47 goals, 45 assists) in 72 games. The 5-8, 175-pound native of Winnipeg, Manitoba, who was recently invited to attend Canada's National Junior Development Camp, was also a member of Kootenay's 2002 Memorial Cup championship squad.
The sixth round was a busy one for New York, who held three picks over a span of five draft slots. With the 176th overall pick, the Rangers selected 6-0, 183-pound Slovakian center Ivan Dornic
(above). According to Rangers European scout Jan Gadosik
, "Ivan is a solid two-way center with a strong work ethic and a great deal of determination." Dornic captured a silver medal at the 2003 IIHF Under-18 World Junior Championship in Russia as a member of the Slovakian squad. A big New York Rangers fan who also noted that Mark Messier
sat atop his list of favorite players, he was ecstatic to hear his named called by the Blueshirts. "This feeling is amazing. It is difficult for me to describe my feelings right now other than to say that this is one of the most special days of my life."
With their second pick of the round - only three spots later - the Blueshirts chose 6-1, 187-pound Swiss defenseman Philippe Furrer
. An aggressive, tenacious defender, Furrer was a finalist for the Rookie of the Year Award in the Swiss Elite League this past season and represented Switzerland in the 2003 IIHF Under-20 World Junior Championship in Halifax, Nova Scotia at the age of 17.
To wrap up their sixth round trio of picks, New York selected U.S. National Under-18 netminder Chris Holt
with the 180th overall pick. Rated fifth among North American netminders, Holt also represented Team USA at the 2003 IIHF Under-18 Championship. "The Rangers have just made my dreams come true," he said following his selection.
In the seventh round (209th overall), the Blueshirts added another aggressive defenseman to the mix when they called 6-0, 195-pounder Dylan Reese
. In his second season with Pittsburgh of the North American Hockey League (NAHL), Reese helped the club capture the 2002-03 NAHL championship and the USA Hockey Junior title.
The 10th and final Blueshirt choice of the 2003 Draft came in the eighth round when they selected 5-10, 178-pound Czech Republic native Jan Marek
. The highly skilled offensive forward ranked second in the Czech Republic Extraleague with 32 goals and led the league with 62 points in 51 games this past season. Blueshirt European scout Christer Rockstrom
spoke highly of the 'overage' player. "He's a little older than most of the other players who were selected this weekend, and his game has matured over the last few years. He's a fast skater and an offensive weapon."
While each team has their own evaluation on each player, Rockstrom and most members of the NHL scouting circles would agree on one thing. "If one or two of these picks pans out and plays in the NHL, we'll be very happy with this Draft."