The Rangers have moved up to 90, from 91, by trading a 7th-round pick in 2024 to Pittsburgh and selected defenseman Drew Fortescue.
Fortescue played under new Rangers assistant coach Dan Muse and was a teammate of 23rd-overall pick Gabe Perreault.
Muse said in a quote on the NHL Network “rounded out his two-way game this year. Has good gaps and stick details. Transitions puck well.”
He will join Perreault at BC this season. He is a left-shot defenseman.
He was the 60th ranked North American skated by NHL Central Scouting.
He was ranked 82nd by McKeen’s Hockey and they said
- “When you look at the full catalog of play from the U.S. NTDP over the last two seasons, Fortescue is, without question, one of the team’s most improved players.
- A lot of that has to do with the fact that the 6-foot-3 defender has improved his mobility and skating ability significantly in the last calendar year. His stride looks more fluid and explosive, and it has allowed him to take his game to the next level. At the U18’s this year, Fortescue was arguably the U.S.’ most effective player in the defensive end.
- From an offensive perspective, Fortescue’s game probably doesn’t have a ton of runway. Even if he was more willing and successful in carrying the puck in the second half, he mostly keeps things simple. His game is predicated on quick exits in the defensive zone and quick passes in the offensive zone.
- It’s in the defensive end that his game really shines. His combination of length and quickness makes him the kind of player who can suffocate the opposition without being an overtly physical player. More of a stick on puck defender, Fortescue routinely gets his stick in passing and shooting lanes and his improved mobility has allowed him to be more aggressive. He takes good routes to retrievals and rarely seems to get hemmed in his own end.
- Heading to Boston College next year, Fortescue remains a long-term project.
- He’ll need to continue to improve his mobility and bulk up in order to improve his confidence in using his body to be disruptive in combination with his stick/length.
- It would also be great to see him build upon the confidence he showed in his puck carrying ability later in the year.
- At worst, Fortescue looks like a potential bottom six defender with intriguing physical tools.