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Rangers 'Size Up' Day One of the Draft

by Staff Writer / New York Rangers

The Rangers added some size at the center position with the selection of Lee Falardeau with the 33rd pick of the 2002 NHL Entry Draft. The 6'4", 203-pound forward recently completed his freshman season at Michigan State University, where he tallied four goals and nine assists, along with 22 penalty minutes in 29 games with the Spartans. The native of Midland, Michigan is a deceptively fast skater with tremendous size who drives hard to the net and plays a physical game. Scouts have praised the 18-year old's solid understanding of the game, citing his ability to adjust to different styles of play.

"I'm honored to be selected by the Rangers," said Falardeau moments after his selection. "Being from Michigan, I grew up a Detroit Red Wings fan, but I always viewed the Rangers as one of the foundations of the NHL. I don't think I could've been picked by a better team. Sitting in the stands, I had no idea what to expect, but I am very excited at how things turned out today."

"I would probably compare myself to a player like Bobby Holik who plays a reliable, two-way game," he added when asked to describe his style of play. "I use my size to forecheck effectively and work hard at both ends of the ice. I really enjoy going to the front of the net to create scoring opportunities. I also like it when the opposition dislikes me. That means I'm playing my game."

"He's a Joel Otto-type of player," said Rangers President and General Manager Glen Sather of Falardeau. "He's a big kid who skates well. Lee is 18 years old and will only get bigger. He's a smart, two-way player and we're happy to select him where we did. We had him rated a lot higher on our lists."

The Rangers, who held the 75th overall pick in the Draft, swapped third rounders with the Ottawa Senators, who sent the Blueshirts their 81st and 127th picks. With the 81st pick, the Rangers added more size with the selection of 6'4", 220-pound Swedish winger Marcus Jonasen. The 18-year old skated with Vasteras of the Swedish Junior League last season.

Rangers European scout Christer Rockstrom describes Jonasen as a "big, strong player who uses his size to his advantage and is difficult to move from in front of the net. He finishes his checks and opens up the ice with his powerful style of game."
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