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Transcript: Clark on 2010 NHL draft

by Staff Writer / New York Rangers
On Wednesday afternoon, Gordie Clark, the Rangers’ Director, Player Personnel, and Jeff Gorton, the Assistant Director, Player Personnel, took some questions from reporters regarding the 2010 NHL Entry Draft, which will take place June 25-26 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.

Here is a sample of Wednesday’s conversation:

Gordie Clark has been with the Rangers organization for the past eight seasons and has served as the team's Director, Player Personnel since 2007.
Question: Is this a particularly deep draft and what do you consider its strength?

I think the best way to characterize it is it may not be deep in real top-end players, but it’s very deep in players that will end up playing in the NHL and maybe top-3 lines. Usually, the impact guys we talk of are the first- and second-line guys or real top-4 D. There are a lot of guys that are going to play in the top three lines or the top six D.

Question: Do you go in with a preconceived notion of what you want or is it just playing the board when the pick gets to you?

Clark: We have our A-rated players. Those are players that if any one of those guys are available, we think that they have a chance of being a top-end guy. Now if they’re gone, then we can start maybe looking at what we might want to do for a position that is more important than other positions for the team at that time -- another impact guy to bring in with the group of young kids that we already have, the core of young kids.

Question: Are there fewer of what you consider A-rated players in this draft than in past years?

Clark: Obviously, the two names you hear, Taylor Hall and Tyler Seguin, for sure they’re A players. And then there is a bit of a fall-off so it depends on your definition of A. For us I would think you’re right, sometimes there are four, five, maybe seven guys and then it falls off. I would say there are two guys clearly better than everyone else and then depending on who you’re talking to, which I guess is us, there is another 10 guys that you could probably throw a blanket over that each team would probably think a little bit differently but have the same 10 guys in a little bit different order.

Question: Is there any sense at this point that you would trade up or down, or would you make those decisions on the floor?

Clark: Those decisions really are (made on the floor). We have talked to Glen (Sather), and that is who takes care of that once we get going. We have always been up for trading up or trading back. It will really depend on how the first five or six picks go.

Question: Last year at No. 19 you said you were pretty firmly on the outside of the upper tier looking in and sort of wanting to see if any of the guys you had top ten were falling down. Is it fair to say that if this is a draft that is a little shorter on the top end that you feel the same way even though you are a little further up in the order? Will you just kind of wait and see how things develop and are there certain guys you can sort of hope will fall?

Clark: Yes that’s probably a good way of putting it. It is not a real deep draft as far as what you might want to call a franchise player, being able to grab one of those guys. There are some people that claim it’s Hall and Seguin, and some people claim that you add a Cam Fowler to that or maybe a Erik Gudbranson but after that, from five to 20, the 19th guy could go sixth, or the seventh guy could go 18th. They are all good players, and we think we can bring an impact player into the new core of Ranger young kids with one of those guys, but we just have to see how it all starts falling after the third or fourth pick.
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