2022 New York Rangers Offseason

What Director of Player Personnel & Amateur Scouting John Lilley said about the draft

Rangers Director of Player Personnel & Director of Amateur Scouting John Lilley spoke after the draft and said (NYR):

  • What do you think you accomplished, “I think we added to a good prospect pool, got some depth, centermen, some bigger players with high compete. I think that all over and all around we added some good pieces and look forward to development camp.”

  • Was there a focus on center and physical players, “there is always a premium on centers, it’s one of the hardest positions to play, obviously. We targeted a few centermen along the way and the way the list fell those were the players we selected. We’re excited to get all these players in the pipeline and to development camp and see what happens in the next few years.”
  • Which players are coming to development camp, “I don’t know yet, we’ve talked to them on the phone or they came down to the table to talk, but I don’t have the exact ones. I’ll leave that to the development staff to sort that out in the next couple of days.”
  • Was there a bigger focus on forwards, “Sometimes it’s just the way the list falls. We had D in there, centers, wings and sometimes guys get taken right before you that might be a defenseman and you have a right wing, left wing, center. I think it’s just the way the list fell. We had a pretty even list of all types of players, goalies as well. We’re just happy with the players we got today.”
  • On Sykora saying he likes Brad Marchand’s style, “he really stands out with his compete, he can really skate, he’s skilled, but his motor, his willingness to get involved physically despite not being a giant is really impressive. He played at the Men’s Worlds and what stuck out to me, against Canada he was running around like a young man possessed. It was really impressive and he has skill to back it up, played in the pro league all season against men. He exudes confidence on the ice and just the type of player you are looking for to win in the playoffs, those hard players. Brad Marchand is a great role model for him to have.”
  • On Victor Mancini, “He’s a player that, I know when I was in Toronto we watched and liked. I know he’s been on the radar and for some reason never got selected. He stuck with it and continued to improve every year. He had a good year, a good player, defensive minded, is big, is long and over time he has just improved every year. Another guy we are excited to have and he’s a high character young man, checks out from everyone we talked to along the way. He’s a really great person and hard worker.”
  • Will he stay in college or do you want him to turn pro, “He’ll stay in college for now and we’ll take our development staff, led by Jed Ortmeyere, will get in there and watch him play once the college season starts and then we make decisions from there.”
  • Do you see Barbashev play like his brother in St. Louis, “He plays a hard game, physical game, north/south. He does play that style of game. We’re excited to get his physicality and his heaviness.”
  • What did you like about the college players, “I think you get time with college players, for the most part. Maybe an extra year or two, we took a couple of older guys where maybe we don’t have the four-year window, but you get three years as opposed to two. Time is on their side. I think that with college players they do play a little bit less of a schedule of games, so the strength and conditioning can be a bonus as well, just to work on their bodies so that they can come out and handle the physical demands of the AHL and then NHL schedule.”
  • How challenging was it to get a read on these guys during Covid, “In general things have been different for everyone, hockey or non-hockey related the last few years and I thought did a great job of identifying players last year in the shortened seasons and and coming into this year with a good list and place to start and framework and this year there were a couple of pauses and things like that, but for the most part it was business as usual. Get on the road and if leagues were shut down for a little bit we did as much video as we could in that area and then due diligence talking to coaches and all the background info you can get. I thought our staff did a good this year getting all the info even when there were border restrictions and things like that.”
  • More video than usual, “Well, not more video than usual because we did so much with 2020 and 2021 season, but I think what we did learn in this is that video is a tool that we can utilize more now than we did 3-4-5 years ago. I think it’s important to incorporate live viewings with the video.”