The NHL Network ranked the Top 50 Prospects heading into this season and the Rangers had:
- #2: Kaapo Kakko
- #12: Vitali Kravtsov
- #20: Igor Shesterkin
- #30: Adam Fox
The Rangers are the only team to have four prospects in the top-30 and three prospects in the top-20.
- Sam Costentino said that he is “a whole lot of fun. Here is a guy, when I think of two players of that ilk, Raantan and Barkov and these are two guys that played in Liiga in their draft eligible year and dominated and this guy did the exact same thing. I am very interested to see how that translates to the NHL. You look at his size, skating ability, ability to protect the puck are all key assets for him. I think the World Championships was a real coming out party. People had the opportunity to see him at the Worlds and he, without a doubt played spectacularly there and that brought him onto the radar to say that he fits in with the Laine and Raantan and Barkov.”
- Mike Johnson said “he was the talk of the tournament. What he showed at the worlds and what he showed all season long, physically he doesn’t need to grow, he will, but he doesn’t need to get any stronger or faster, he can already use his frame just as it is to play the kind of offensive hockey that he wants. The Rangers are a young team and turning it over and he will get to play with good players in offensive situations, he will be an impact, offensive player. Once he gets on the ice he will be just fine.”
- Cosentino added that he talked to teams that had Kaako number one on their draft boards.
To be eligible, players had to be 25 and younger or played in fewer than 25 NHL games.
Last year’s list featured Filip Chytil at 16, Shesterkin at #25, Lias Andersson at #31, Kravtsov at #35 and Fox at #48.
K’Andre Miller, not ranked in the top-50, was called a “high-end prospect” by a scout, according to Corey Pronman of The Athletic.
Team USA World Juniors coach Scott Sandelin said of Miller, “he’s matured since last year, a lot more confidence, bigger, stronger but he looks more confident in what he is doing. Great skating ability and athleticism, he can cover a lot of ice.”