2019 Draft

The Rangers draft picks on Saturday

With the 49th pick, the Rangers selected WHL defenseman Matthew Robertson.

He was ranked 19th by Future Considerations, 29th by McKeens 25th by TSN, 27th by ESPN, 35th and 41st by The Athletic.

Future Considerations writes:


  • “Due to his size and skating prowess, Robertson stands out on the ice. He exhibits beautiful crossovers and backwards skating and he shows elite escapability. He’s borderline impossible to strip of the puck once he has possession due to his ability to spin and protect it.”
  • “He shows top tier awareness and is strong at eliminating attack angles with good lane management techniques and his ability to adjust on the fly. A highly-mobile and elite thinker who excels under pressure, he picks his spots well to make an impact with the puck.”
  • “Overall, he is a coach’s dream and a prospect with enormous potential.”

McKeens wrote, “the team that drafts Robertson, whether late in the first or early on day two, will be hoping for a similar impact, on a similar timeframe, as Tampa Erik Cernak, a similar breed of size in a modern-day defender. If anything, Robertson has higher upside.”

He had seven goals and 26 assists in 52 games for Edmonton of the WHL.

From the Rangers release, “The 6-3, 200-pounder has skated in 126 career WHL games over parts of three seasons (2016-17 – 2018-19), all with Edmonton, registering 14 goals and 44 assists for 58 points, along with a plus-two rating and 72 penalty minutes. Internationally, the Edmonton, Alberta native has represented Canada in several tournaments. Robertson helped Canada win a gold medal at the 2018 Hlinka Gretzky Cup, as he registered four points (two goals, two assists) in five games. He tallied six points (two goals, four assists) in five games with Canada-Black at the 2017 World U17 Hockey Challenge, and he was named to the Tournament All-Star Team, as he led all defensemen in the tournament in points. In addition, Robertson recorded two assists and posted a plus-five rating in five games while representing Canada at the 2018 IIHF U18 World Championship.”

With the 59th pick, the Rangers selected Swedish center Karl Henriksson.

He was ranked 62nd by Future Considerations, 51st by McKeens 25th by TSN, 78th by ESPN, and 83rd by The Athletic.

McKeens writes:

  • Karl Henriksson is a study in how a player can be smashingly successful and productive without having big tools. He is small, not a great skater, lacks a big shot, and is not a gifted puck mover. Yet, if you watched Team Sweden at the WU18 tournament, it was hard to keep your eyes off of the young center.”
  •  “Everything he has plays at a higher level than his pure scouting grades because he is incredibly smart, and he works ridiculously hard. He puts pressure on the opponent in all three zones and he does not let pressure going the other way deter him at all.”

Future Considerations wrote:

  • “a quick and agile skater. He is an excellent playmaker that distributes hard and accurate passes. Despite his small frame, he can make a read and find a good play even when under pressure. He isn’t afraid of taking physical contact and will willingly take a hit to make a play.”
  • “A cerebral player, he often knows what to do with the puck before receiving it, something that he utilizes frequently while on the power play. He has very good vision and can be creative in the ways that he sets up his teammates and the accuracy in his passes are very high and often go tape-to-tape.”

From the Rangers release, “The 5-9, 176-pounder has played in Frolunda’s organization for the last two seasons (2017-18 and 2018-19). Henriksson tallied 50 points (20 goals, 30 assists) and posted a plus-42 rating in 38 games with Frolunda’s U18 team in 2017-18, and helped the team win a bronze medal by notching six points (two goals, four assists) in seven games during the playoffs.”

“Internationally, the Malmo, Sweden native has represented his country in several tournaments. Most recently, Henriksson registered nine points (three goals, six assists) in seven games while helping Sweden win a gold medal at the 2019 IIHF U18 World Championship. He was named one of the Top Three Players on his Team in the tournament, as he led Sweden in assists and points. Henriksson also helped Sweden earn a silver medal at the 2018 Hlinka Gretzky Cup, as he registered two goals in five games during the tournament.”

With the 68th pick, the Rangers selected defenseman Zachary Jones.

He was ranked 29th by McKeens 88th by TSN, 69th by ESPN, and 54th by The Athletic.

From McKeens:

  • Small, but fast and skilled, Jones fits the modern mold of the puck moving defenseman to a ‘T’. Coming from the non-traditional hockey market of Virginia, he has among the better sets of puck skills among draft eligible defensemen this year.
  • He is adept at getting past the first layer of defense with a series of drags and dekes, helped along with quick hands, and he has the foresight not to try to force anything on his way in.”

From The Athletic, “He’s not the biggest or fastest defenseman, but he’s great with the puck on his stick. Jones has a high skill level, great offensive instincts, and is not afraid to try and make a play.”

From the Rangers release, “The 5-10, 175-pounder established a single-season Tri-City record for assists by a defenseman in 2018-19, and his 45 assists were the second-most by any Tri-City player in one season in the team’s history (Jaden Schwartz registered 50 assists in 2009-10). Jones also played in the USHL/NHL Top Prospects Game during the 2018-19 season. He skated in six playoff games Tri-City during the past season and recorded five assists.”

“Jones has committed to play collegiate hockey at UMass-Amherst beginning with the 2019-20 season.”

At pick 112, the Rangers selected defenseman Hunter Skinner.

Skinner is listed by McKeens as an Honorable Mention and is 6-2, 176.

He played last season in the USHL and was listed 120 on Central Scouting’s listing of North American skaters. He was ranked 112th in the mid-term rankings.

From the Rangers release, “Skinner, 18, split this past season between the Muskegon Lumberjacks and the Lincoln Stars of the United States Hockey League (USHL). He skated in 52 USHL games during the 2018-19 season, registering five goals and 19 assists for 24 points, along with 81 penalty minutes. Skinner established USHL career-highs in several categories this past season, including games played, goals, assists, and points.”

“The 6-2, 176-pounder has skated in 83 career USHL games over parts of two seasons (2017-18 and 2018-19) with Muskegon and Lincoln, registering five goals and 19 assists for 24 points, along with 85 penalty minutes. Prior to beginning his USHL career, Skinner played with Honeybaked U16 in the High Performance Hockey League (HPHL).”

At 130, the Rangers have selected RW Leevi Aaltonen.

He was ranked 115nd by Future Considerations, 99th by McKeens, 78th and  69th by The Athletic.

McKeens wrote, “big scorer in Finnish junior ranks kept up the pace with the WU18s. Explosive skater with flashy hands is physically immature.

Future Considerations wrote:

  • “A smooth skater, Aaltonen is very active on his feet, has excellent acceleration and can torch opponents with high-end speed. A bit of a burner in that regard. He’s very agile, has a fluid stride and is able to turn on a dime. He also has a lot of pace to his game that makes him extremely effective on the forecheck.”
  • “The flashy Finn is a sneaky playmaker, always looking for open lanes, especially on the power play. He’s able to set up multiple high-danger scoring chances for his teammates while keeping opposing defenders on their toes.”
  • “Defensively, he has great timing with his stick when intercepting passes or creating turnovers.”
  • “His biggest flaw is his lack of size and physical qualities. He can be pushed around quite a bit and his lack of reach can be a problem against taller defenders, but his speed helps compensates for those shortcomings.”

“A Speedster – impressive accelaratoin and strong overall skating ability.” NHL Central Scouting

From the Rangers release, “The 5-9, 177-pounder has played in KalPa’s organization for four seasons (2015-16 – 2018-19). Aaltonen helped KalPa’s U20 team win the Jr. A SM-liiga Championship in 2017-18 and KalPa’s U18 team win the Jr. B SM-sarja Championship in 2016-17. In 2015-16, Aaltonen won the Timo Jutila Award as the Jr. C SM-sarja (Finland’s U16 league) Rookie of the Year, and he led the league in points during the season (70; 26 goals and 44 assists in 27 games).”

“Internationally, the Mikkeli, Finland native has represented his country in several tournaments. Most recently, Aaltonen registered five points (one goal, four assists) and a plus-four rating in five games while representing Finland at the 2019 IIHF U18 World Championship. He led Finland in assists and tied for the team lead in points in the tournament. Aaltonen recorded two assists in five games at the 2018 Hlinka Gretzky Cup, and he also registered five points (three goals, two assists) in four games at the 2017 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament. He helped Finland win a gold medal at the 2018 IIHF U18 World Championship, as he tallied two goals and posted a plus-two rating in seven games during the tournament. In addition, Aaltonen was teammates with Kaapo Kakko at the 2018 IIHF U18 World Championship.”

At 161, the Rangers drafted Swedish center Adam Edstrom.

He is 6-6, 207 and was ranked 73rd in the Final Central Scouting rankings for Euro Players. He was ranked 64th in the mid-term rankings.

He had 16 points in 20 Swedish junior league games and 1 assist in 15 SHL games.

From the Rangers release, “Edstrom, 18, split this past season between Mora in the Swedish Hockey League (SHL) and Mora’s junior (J20) team in SuperElit. He tallied 16 points (11 goals, five assists) in 20 games in SuperElit with Mora’s junior team during the season, and he also registered four points (two goals, two assists) in two relegation games. In addition, Edstrom recorded one assist in 15 SHL games with Mora in 2018-19. He also notched two goals in two games with Malungs IF in Division 1 (Sweden’s third-highest pro league).”

“The 6-6, 209-pounder played in Mora’s organization for three seasons (2016-17 – 2018-19). Edstrom registered 47 points (27 goals, 20 assists) in 40 games while playing with Mora’s J18 team and 27 points (19 goals, eight assists) in 69 games with Mora’s J20 team in SuperElit. He is expected to play in Rogle’s organization in the 2019-20 season.”

At 205, the Rangers pick RW Eric Ciccolini.

He’s ranked 178 by McKeens and 118 by Future Considerations.

Future Considerations wrote:

  • An all-around offensive threat, Ciccolini pushes
    the pace and anchors his team’s offense every time he steps on the ice. He has lightning-quick feet and silky smooth crossovers, which allow him to turn on the burners and reach his elite top speed.”
  • “He also carries the puck seemingly on a string and the vision to dish it off to teammates when under pressure.”
  • “Overall, his compete and battle levels are extremely high and he has a dangerous offensive skillset in his game that becomes readily apparent in just the first few minutes of watching him play.”

From the Rangers release, “Ciccolini, 18, skated in 48 games with the Toronto Jr. Canadiens of the Ontario Junior Hockey League (OJHL) this past season, registering 27 goals and 35 assists for 62 points, along with 58 penalty minutes. Ciccolini won the B.J. Monro Memorial Trophy as the OHA’s Top Prospect. He received the OJHL Top Prospect Award, was named an OJHL First Team All-Prospect, and was named to the OJHL Second All-Star Team. Ciccolini also notched five points (one goal, four assists) in five playoff games.”

“The 5-11, 170-pounder played parts of two seasons in the OJHL (2017-18 and 2018-19). A native of Vaughan, Ontario, Ciccolini played with Canada-East at the 2018 World Junior A Hockey Challenge. Ciccolini is committed to begin his collegiate career at the University of Michigan in 2019-20.”