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Gorton Leaves Dallas Confident With Rangers Draft

GM on a busy weekend in Texas

by Matt Calamia @MattCalamia / NYRangers.com

Dallas - Rangers General Manager Jeff Gorton described the 2018 NHL Draft as "vital" to the organization Thursday night. And on Saturday, he left Texas confident he and his staff did well with the 10 selections it made, including its three Friday evening.

"Feel great," Gorton told reporters on Saturday after the conclusion of the draft. "Feel like yesterday was obviously a huge day for us with the three picks. Really excited with what we were able to do. Today was more about value and our list and getting guys that had potential and that we were really high on. I think we were able to do that."

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Rangers Make Ten Selections in 2018 NHL Entry Draft

Blueshirts select three forwards, six defensemen, and one goaltender

by New York Rangers @NYRangers / NYRangers.com

New York Rangers General Manager Jeff Gorton, along with Director of Player Personnel Gordie Clark, oversaw the club's activity at the 2018 NHL Entry Draft on Friday, June 22 and Saturday, June 23 at American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas. The Blueshirts, who held 10 picks in the draft, selected three forwards, six defensemen, and one goaltender. The 10 selections were the most the Rangers made in one year for the first time since the NHL adopted a seven-round Draft format in 2005.

The Rangers made three of their selections on Friday and seven of their selections on Saturday. The Blueshirts, who made three selections in the first round of the NHL Amateur/Entry Draft in the same year for the first time in franchise history, selected forward Vitali Kravtsov with the ninth overall pick, defenseman K'Andre Miller with the 22nd overall pick, and defenseman Nils Lundkvist with the 28th overall pick.

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Rangers Draft Late Riser Nils Lundkvist at No. 28

by Matt Calamia @MattCalamia / NYRangers.com

DALLAS -- Gordie Clark, the Rangers' Director of Player Personnel, can still remember the first time he saw defenseman Nils Lundkvist play.

It was January and Clark was wrapping up a long, tiring trip through Europe when he got the call from several of his scouts, including Nick Bobrov, the head of the organization's scouting efforts in the region, telling him to head to Gothenburg to see the 17-year-old defenseman play for Lulea against Frolunda.

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Rangers Trade Up to Nab Defenseman K'Andre Miller

Blueliner comes from US National Team Development Program

by Matt Calamia @MattCalamia / NYRangers.com

DALLAS -- There's few better ways for an organization to show they want their guy in a draft than trading up to select him.

And that's what the Rangers did Friday night when they flipped picks 26 and 48 to Ottawa to select defenseman K'Andre Miller.

The gesture was appreciated by Miller, an 18-year-old defenseman out of the U.S. National Team Development Program.

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Rangers Select Nils Lundkvist

Blueshirts select 17-year-old defenseman with the 28th overall pick of the 2018 NHL Entry Draft

by New York Rangers @NYRangers / NYRangers.com

With the third of three first round selections in the 2018 NHL Entry Draft, the New York Rangers selected defenseman Nils Lundkvist with the 28th overall pick.

Lundkvist, 17 (turns 18 years old on July 27), split this past season between Lulea in the Swedish Hockey League (SHL) and Lulea's junior team in SuperElit. He skated in 28 SHL games with Lulea, registering two goals and three assists for five points, along with a plus-two rating. He ranked third among SHL players younger than 18 years old in goals and points in 2017-18, trailing only Rasmus Dahlin and David Gustafsson, and he also tied for third among SHL players younger than 18 years old in assists. Lundkvist was one of only 10 defensemen younger than 18 years old who skated in at least one SHL game during the past season, and his 28 games played were tied for the second-most among SHL defensemen younger than 18 years old in 2017-18 (Dahlin - 41). He averaged 16:00 of ice time in his 28 SHL games and posted a plus/minus rating of even or better in 22 of the 28 contests. Lundkvist made his SHL debut on Oct. 26, 2017 against Malmo, and he tallied his first career SHL goal/point on Dec. 30, 2017 against Skelleftea. In addition, he skated in two SHL playoff contests with Lulea.

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Rangers Select K'Andre Miller

Blueshirts select 6-3, 199-pound defenseman with the 22nd overall pick of the 2018 NHL Entry Draft

by New York Rangers @NYRangers / NYRangers.com

After acquiring the 22nd overall pick of the 2018 NHL Entry Draft in a trade with the Ottawa Senators, the New York Rangers selected defenseman K'Andre Miller.

Miller, 18, skated in 58 regular season and tournament games with the U.S. National U18 Team in the United States Development Program (USNTDP) this past season, registering nine goals and 20 assists for 29 points, along with a plus-23 rating and 26 penalty minutes. He ranked third among defensemen on the U.S. National U18 Team in goals, points, and plus/minus rating in 2017-18. In addition, Miller skated in 22 games with Team USA in the United States Hockey League (USHL) during the past season, registering 16 points (four goals, 12 assists) and a plus-13 rating. He led all defensemen on Team USA (min. two games played) - and ranked fifth among USHL defensemen - in points per game in 2017-18 (0.73). Miller was named the USHL Defenseman of the Week on Nov. 20, as he posted back-to-back, three-point games on Nov. 17 at Youngstown (three assists) and on Nov. 18 vs. Central Illinois (two goals, one assist). In September of 2017, he participated in the 2017 CCM/USA Hockey All-American Prospects Game.

 

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Rangers Take Russia Forward Vitali Kravtsov Ninth at 2018 Draft

by Matt Calamia @MattCalamia / NYRangers.com

DALLAS -- Few players, if any, closed out the 2017-18 season stronger than winger Vitali Kravtsov, the Rangers' ninth overall pick in the 2018 NHL Draft.

"I'm so happy," Kravtsov said of being taken by the Rangers, about two months after his historic playoff run with Traktor Chelyabinsk of the Kontinental Hockey League.

The 18-year-old turned in a postseason for the ages, recording six goals and five assists for 11 points in 16 contests, putting him in exclusive KHL company.

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Rangers Select Vitali Kravtsov

Blueshirts select 6-3, 184-pound forward with the ninth overall pick of the 2018 NHL Entry Draft

by New York Rangers @NYRangers / NYRangers.com

With the first of three first round selections in the 2018 NHL Entry Draft, the New York Rangers selected forward Vitali Kravtsov with the ninth overall pick.

Kravtsov, 18, received the Alexei Cherepanov Award as the Kontinental Hockey League's Rookie of the Year in 2017-18. In 16 games with Traktor Chelyabinsk during the 2018 Gagarin Cup Playoffs, Kravtsov registered six goals and five assists for 11 points. Kravtsov's 11 points were the most a KHL junior player (younger than 20 years old) has registered in one playoff year in the league's history, eclipsing the previous record of nine held by Evgeny Kuznetsov and Valeri Nichushkin. In addition, Kravtsov's six goals in the 2018 Gagarin Cup Playoffs were tied for the second-most a KHL junior player has recorded in one playoff year in the league's history. Other than Kravtsov, the only three KHL players younger than 20 years old who have tallied six or more goals in one playoff year are Kuznetsov (seven), Nichushkin (six), and Eeli Tolvanen (six). In addition, the 18-year-old Kravtsov became one of only three players younger than 22 years old in KHL history to register at least 11 points in one playoff year (Vladimir Tarasenko - 16 points as a 21-year-old; Kuznetsov - 11 points as a 20-year-old). Including the Russian Superleague (RSL), which was in existence from 1992-93 - 2007-08, Kravtsov's 11 points in the 2018 Gagarin Cup Playoffs were tied for the third-most by a teenager in one playoff year since 1992-93. Since 1992-93, the only teenagers who recorded more points than Kravtsov in one playoff year in Russia's highest league of professional hockey are Maxim Afinogenov (16 in 1998-99) and Evgeni Malkin (15 in 2005-06), and he is tied for first among 18-year-olds in points in one playoff year over the span.

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Gorton Expecting Busy Weekend in Dallas at NHL Draft

GM prepared to make picks while also listening to offers

by Matt Calamia @MattCalamia / NYRangers.com

DALLAS -- There's been a lot of attention on Rangers General Manager Jeff Gorton throughout the week in Dallas, leading up to Round 1 of the NHL Draft Friday night, and he understands why.

"We have three picks. It's drawing interest around the league. We can understand why," Gorton told reporters following the GMs meeting on Thursday night, about 24 hours before the Blueshirts will begin an important weekend that currently includes seven picks in the first three rounds, and 10 selections overall. "We've been in a situation where we didn't have a first round pick and you're not as popular. This time, we've got the three picks and there's a lot of different scenarios we're looking at."

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Rangers Announce 2018-19 Schedule

by New York Rangers @NYRangers / NYRangers.com

The New York Rangers announced their 2018-19 regular season schedule today. The Blueshirts will begin their 92nd NHL season on Thursday, Oct. 4, 2018 against the Nashville Predators at Madison Square Garden. The Rangers are beginning the regular season at home for the third consecutive season and for the 27th time in franchise history. The last time the Rangers began three or more consecutive seasons with a home game was a seven-season stretch from 1981-82 - 1987-88.

CLICK HERE TO VIEW FULL SCHEDULE

The Rangers will play a total of 28 games against Metropolitan Division opponents this season, as they face each of the other seven teams in the Metropolitan Division (Carolina, Columbus, New Jersey, NY Islanders, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and Washington) four times apiece. New York will play 24 games against teams in the Atlantic Division, facing each of its eight Atlantic Division opponents three times apiece. The Rangers will play two home games against four Atlantic Division opponents (Florida, Montreal, Ottawa, and Tampa Bay) and two road games against four Atlantic Division opponents (Boston, Buffalo, Detroit, and Toronto). The Blueshirts will play 30 games against Western Conference opponents, facing each of the 15 teams in the Western Conference twice in 2018-19.

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