2020 Draft Henrik Lundqvist John Davidson

What John Davidson said on Tuesday about #1, the Carolina series and Henrik Lundqvist

7:30PM: On MSG, John Davidson said:

  • Is Lafreniere a lock or will you listen to offers, “We just got it yesterday and as Jeff Gorton said, we’ve done a multitude of zooms with kids eligible for the draft, he’s an exceptional hockey player, for a young man he has exceptional leadership value. There is a package there that is pretty complete but it’s our job to look through the whole thing, to keep this in-house and I woke up at 4 this morning thinking about how great it’s going to be to walk out on the stage an announce the number one pick, then….there’s no stage. We will figure this whole thing out, I’m not going to tip the hand now but I can tell you this much, this young man is a future star.”
  • What is your perspective on all of it, “I think it’s going to be great for hockey. New York is an important franchise in the NHL and if we continue doing this right and not get ahead of ourselves, we will be fine down the road. I know how important this is, not only on the ice but it gives everyone a chance to feel good about going to work to sell tickets, the fans to know that they will be able to see a future star grow right before their eyes, this is a young person and the fans will be able to say ‘I remember when he first started and was 19-years old and look at him now.’ This, for me, touches all the boxes you need for a franchise going forward. On top of that, with us, it really helps us with the build process we are in the middle of but we also know that this is still going to take some time to get into place. There is going to be players on this team that are going to be a huge part down the road that aren’t here yet. That is what we go through and for the fans, at least in my mind, to see these young guys come in and grow, it is astonishing, this is a very valuable thing for us, it’s an exciting thing for us. I didn’t know quite how to react to it because it’s a big deal, today we are walking around with smiles on our faces but we also know we have a lot of work ahead of us.”
  • What do you want to hear from Lafreniere when you talk to him, “I think that if he becomes number one we are still going to go through all of our processes to understand. We’ve all seen him play a lot, I’ve never seen him live, but I’ve seen him on tape, what he did at the World Juniors and how he took that over. It’s all good, just want to understand the young man and get to know him. I heard last night that he does love the fact that he’s going to be going to NY. Number 11 is on his jersey and number 11 used to play here in NY, his name is Mark Messier, and I think there is an affinity from Alexis to Mark Messier, watching him play when he was growing up. That is a pretty good leader to try to learn from when you are growing up, to see how Mark carried himself as a Ranger and how he willed his way into being a star with the Rangers. There are a lot of good things in place. Again, we aren’t going to say we are drafting Alexis, we are going to do work on it. This young man is a star player.”
  • On character and how Columbus advanced to the playoffs, “A lot of that has to do with experience, the key players on that team, even though a couple of young ones popped again like Texier and Foudy, but Werenski and Jones and Boone Jenner and Foligno, they’ve been through it a little bit now, they beat Tampa last year and lost to Boston in a tough series. The year before they lost to Washington in six games, when the Blue Jackets hit six goal posts in that game, it was weird but that experience factor means something. Now for us, we didn’t play real well at all in Toronto but we had a lot of players that went through something, so Howden played well, Kakko played well, some of the young players got their eyes open to how hard it is to play in a playoff-type atmosphere. There was some experience that were good for us. I know that in our training camp prior to going to Toronto, K’Andre Miller was outstanding, I mean outstanding and that for me was really something special. Yea, there was negatives, we lost three, had four guys not available, two minutes into game one, to be at their best. DeAngelo had a hamstring, Shesterkin was out with a groin, Jesper Fast get nailed early and put out of the tournament and Lemieux, who played very well in game three, wasn’t available. There was things there and with reality involved, we didn’t have enough players play well, but we did get something out of it and that is the way I like to balance it. When we go north you have to get something good out of these situations. It wasn’t good when we went 0-3 and first team out, but when you really define what went on and the positives of some of the players and experience level, it did have some benefits.”
  • Where is your focus with Henrik Lundqvist, “we are talking, for sure. Hank has gone home, we will be in touch with Hank and his camp in the not too distant future. I have a lot of respect for Hank, I had a real good chat with him once we landed back from Toronto. He’s a pro, a real healthy discussion. We will see where it goes as we move along. Our process right now is going through exit meetings with Quinny and Gorts, in fact, they are in another room talking as we speak, and that is how you start your business with end of season stuff. We will go through every aspect of it, be prepared for the draft, it’s only #1 but we have another pick and there is more work down the road with everybody. It’s a situation here where it’s business as usual, unusual that we get number one but usual with everything that is ahead of us in times that aren’t very normal. The number one pick really stimulates you, it opens up options for a number of different things. We have to analyze all this stuff, deal with a cap that isn’t going to change from a year ago. These are interesting times, they aren’t normal. I think the Rangers are in a real good spot as we continue to build to a championship we are trying to win.”

4:41PM: John Davidson was a guest on The Michael Kay Show today and said (ESPN 98.7):

  •  What was your reaction to #1, “I was sitting in my media room in my home and went to my good luck chair, when the balls were in the air I couldn’t watch. I covered my eyes, looked away, didn’t know until my wife started screaming that the Rangers got the pick. I was able to look and for one of the few times in my life, I was speechless. I just know how to react other than that something like this is a very special moment in our history and we got lucky and now we have to take advantage and make the best of it.”
  • On the guy who dropped the Ranger ping pong ball, “We both said good omen. When you get into a situation like this, there is nothing normal about anything going on, it’s just crazy, so you expect the unexpected. I was looking up in the sky asking for a couple of favors from my parents who are up there This is stuff you hope happens to you, get lucky, doesn’t happen very often in life, and bang, there we are. When I was in St. Louis the lowest pick we had was 4 and it was Alex Pietrangelo and he has become a great player. In Columbus it was 3 and it was Pierre-Luc Dubois who is having a real good run right now and he’s starting to really pop and bloom. You just know the type of impact these players can have. A special time for Ranger fans and hockey in NY.”
  • Are you definitely making the pick or would you trade it, “I would think, when you look at something like this, you make the pick but you can’t sit here today and say this is what we are doing and who we are taking and that is that. You can’t do that, you never know what happens down the road. There is no real rush. We will have a zoom call coming up with Lafraniere. We’ve zoomed all the top players that are going to be in the draft but we didn’t do him because it was unrealistic that we were going to get him. Now there is realistic thinking to it, we will go through the whole process. I know he was a Ranger fan. When he was younger, he wears 11 for a reason. That is Mark Messier. He’s a young man that has terrific leadership skills, plays the game the right way. It could be him, it could not. It’s up in the air bu things are looking pretty good.”
  • Who does he compare to, “that is a real good question. It’s hard to answer, I know that in talking to our scouts and reading the reports, I’ve never seen him live. I’ve seen him play on tape, plenty. I’ve seen him play in the World Juniors where, for an 18-year old, he was out of this world in a very difficult tournament for a player that young. He doesn’t have blazing speed but he’s fast enough, skills, passing skills, great hockey sense. A shot that is exceptional, he drags players into the game, he’s one of those guys. When the game gets going and game gets tougher he brings his teammates right into the game. Those are the players you like to see. I’ve been getting a lot of texts from people in the league, from different organizations. Guys out west who are chief scouts saying how good he is going to be, if it’s him and glad that if we take him he’s going to be in the east and not the west. Considering that we went 0-3 in our play up in Toronto, this has been some week, from down to up and unexpected in some ways but gratifying.”
  • Would you have rather made the playoffs and lost or the way it happened, “the way it happened is the way it happened. We knew going in that the unknown was there, what to expect, can you find the mojo that you had when we had the pause hit us and then when you try to analyze…. I’m one of those guys, year we disappointed and 0-3, but what good happened. Howden and Kakko were terrific, people may not understand but we had K’Andre Miller, the big young defenseman from Wisconsin come to our training camp, he wasn’t eligible to play in Toronto but he made us walk out of there with a smile. A big man who can really skate. The first day of the camp he was really nervous, almost that if you were taking a pass you needed a lacrosse stick to catch the puck in the air. After that first day he settled right in and he was terrific, we got that out of it. Even though the big picture was not good, when you go 0-3 and are the first team out, but whatever happens happens, here we are a few days later and boom. Just a gigantic surprise, a special shoutout to Officer McDonald, his family, for letting us use his police shield. that was awesome. It sat on my desk most of the day yesterday and Jeff Gorton took it into the room when the process was happening and for that to happen it was special.
  • On the loss to Carolina, “the injury to Shesterkin and Hank played pretty good, but the injury to Shesterkin, he had a groin injury and couldn’t play in the first two. Fast gets nailed early and he’s out of the tournament within a couple of minutes. Lemieux was suspended, lesson learned, when he played in game three he played very well. DeAngelo had a hamstring injury and couldn’t play near what he was able to play. You start adding this up, it tells you a) we didn’t have the depth that a really good team would have, but we are building that, it’s part of what we are going through. You know that as you try to get better and climb up that mountain, depth means a lot when you get into games like this. That told us something. Also, we’ve had some zoom calls with players and one thing they’ve talked a lot about, they felt better in game three than the first two game. We have to figure out why, what was it that could have been done differently to make them feel better starting in Game 1. One thing is experience. When the puck was dropped, Carolina was hungry and ready to go. Remember, they had 14 players on that team that had been in the final four, last year. They were experienced more than we were, we had a number of players it was there first playoff-like experience. I get that out of it too,  when we get into it next year and we get into a playoff run or into the playoffs, if it happens, we will have a lot more experience of what to expect as a team. The only way to get that is to go through it. Hopefully we can build on too.”
  • Does the rebuild accelerate now, “you always try to make moves that will help you win long term. You don’t want to make moves that will make you better for this one season and then you’ve given up something to do that and then it disappears. We as management totally understand that this number one pick is a big boon, it’s unbelievable for us but we are still in this process and only a couple of years into it. I know that you take step forwards and then you step into a pot hole, it’s just what happens, and then you need to get out of the pot hole and keep going, keep driving north. I used to say in Columbus that you build one brick at a time but we got an unbelievable brick yesterday, as we try to build this franchise. But I know, with myself in charge, our decisions will be made on trying to win a championship and it’s a long-term decision as opposed to ‘let’s just be competitive and see what happens. It takes a certain amount of patience and time. When we win, when we get to it, there are players on our team who aren’t even here yet, maybe they’ve been drafted but we have to go through that getting these players ready to go. That is what it is and that is what it’s going to be. Some people might get impatient, but I am not. Good things are ahead of us.”
  • On Henrik Lundqvist’s future, “I had a good chat with him when we got off the plane out of Toronto. It was a discussion we had, we will continue the dialogue. He’s gone home, back to Sweden. His representative Donnie Meehan is a good man. We will talk and see where we go. We made it clear that we aren’t carrying three goalies next year. We gotta figure out what we are going to do, figure it out with all of our goalies, keep the communication open. Just started getting into the process now so this will take some time and we will be respectful of everyone.”
  • How much does heart play into it or is it just business, “Whenever you make decisions you can make decisions the right way. The one thing, we have two very young goalies and one goalie that is a future Hall of Famer. You have to have reality, honesty, compassion, do things the right way and we will get to it and get to it the right way. Regarding all of our guys, we have as management…..I had to retire at 27 because my body decided it was time. Father time or injuries or whatever it is catch up to people along the way. Is Hank’s time now, is it not, we have to get to that point and discuss it and figure it out the right way and do things that are appropriate and right for the players involved and also the franchise itself. It’s a balancing act but we will make sure that whatever happens we will do it the right way.”
  • Have decisions been made or is it still a fluid situation, “it’s still a discussion. Ongoing, we will have discussion down the road, probably sooner than later, and discuss all options. Hank is a player, he’s been a healthy player his whole career, which is a good thing. We will discuss and see what his thoughts are and try to make some decisions as it becomes very clear for us.”
2020 Draft

What Jeff Gorton and Alexis Lafreniere said after the Rangers got #1

Jeff Gorton and Alexis Lafreniere met with the media following the Rangers winning the #1 overall pick (NHL):

Jeff Gorton:

  • On what getting #1 does for the Rangers and Alexis fitting in, (Audio Issues) “I’m sure Ranger fans everywhere were pretty excited when the ball came up Rangers.”
  • Is Lafreniere a slam dunk pick, “Listen, I’m from the school that we will take some time and let it all settle in here. I wouldn’t want to give away exactly what is going to happen and we haven’t had the luxury of, we didn’t want jinx ourselves and do our zoom with Alexis until we had the good fortune of winning the lottery, I didn’t want to waste his time. We will go through that process and start to meet the young man and go down the road of talking to him and his family and doing all that. Let’s get through that first and for tonight, let’s let the Ranger fans be happy about winning the lottery.”
  • Did you have the same good luck charm as last year, “yes, I absolutely do. I have Steve McDonald’s badge with me that his wife Patty-Ann let us use again. Last year it worked so we reached out again and as you know, huge Ranger fans, we have an award named after him that goes to, basically, the hardest working guy on our team. It’s fitting. Good luck charm, I don’t know, starting to believe in them. Really excited they let us use it and we are 2-2 with it. Really excited to have it with me and have it work again.”
  • How might this change the offseason plan, “Short-term, a few days ago we are the first team out of the bubble and feel terrible and still trying to get over that and ask questions why and move forward with that. That isn’t going to change, we have to go through that process and sort out some things. You don’t get the first pick very often and this is a special year, it’s exciting. We are really exciting. You never expect this and when we saw the ball come up, I’m watching every logo on the balls spinning around except ours and started getting nervous and then you see the tube and you are begging to see the logo. Once I saw it come out on top it was a lot of different emotions you go through. Going back to the letter a couple years ago that we wrote and talking about our rebuild and trying to do things the right way. We knew we needed luck and luck was on our side tonight and we are pretty happy with that a few days after coming out of the bubble and walking away pretty upset. It’s a funny game sometimes, the good and the bad, it’s a great feeling.”
  • What does this do to accelerate the rebuild, “When you go through something like this you try to amass as much talent as you can and obviously if you look through some of the best players in the league, some of the star players in this league, it’s not a huge secret where the teams are getting them. It’s lottery picks and high end parts of the draft. That is generally, it’s not always the truth, but it’s where you get your players and it’s hard. The opportunity is huge, think back to the last few years and you try and do things the right way, try to solidify goaltending, good young defense pieces and now we have been lucky in the last couple of years to do what we’ve done in the lottery. I feel like things are coming together, there is a lot of work left to be done and don’t want to get ahead of ourselves, but it’s a good night for Ranger fans to be excited. It’s never happened before, it’s the first time picking first, that is a long time.”
  • On this softening the blow for losing to Carolina, “anybody that is on the call that was in the bubble, leaving the bubble first hurts. There are still seven teams in the hotel and you are walking by them all, they are all getting coffee and you are getting on your bus. Usually you lose, you walk out of the rink, fly home. This one, you are with all these teams and you are the first one out. As we flew home it was a tough feeling, to lose like we did and be swept. We’ve been going through that the last few days and thinking about what is next and what we have to change. I’ve said it a few times on this call, it’s huge excitement for an organization to get the first pick in any year and I think this one is even more special.”
  • How much does losing to Carolina impact the season as a whole, “that is a good question, still trying to get through that one. I think fairly significant. Even though it was three games, the way we lost, I think we have to consider a lot of things that we could do differently as we move forward to be a harder team to play against. I don’t want to dismiss the 70 games and how far we came as a team and where we were prior to the pause, we were in a good spot, winning a lot of games, a lot of young guys were doing good things, Panarin had a special year, Mika had a special year, Shesterkin had come on, Fox, so many good things that were happening, I don’t dismiss that at all and I’m excited about it but at the same time, we’d be kidding ourselves not to say ‘why were we taken out so easily. We are going through that now for sure.”
  • Does this add urgency to add a veteran down the middle, “It might, I think, it’s still pretty raw, we just lost and we are going through that now. It’s all speculation and I understand you guys ask the questions but it’s like, if I just went on this call and told you all of our holes and what we need to do and what we are going to do that probably doesn’t help me in the market when I make calls. I think it’s a fair thing to say, something we will look at like a lot of things. I wish I could answer it further but we have to have more meetings and I’d like to keep it closer to the vest than announcing we are going to get centers or do something else, if you know what I mean.”
  • What have you been told about the draft, “the draft is excellent, very deep and we have a second pick in the first round that we are excited about too. I think we are thinking this draft is better than a lot of the ones we’ve seen recently, so we are very excited that we have an additional first round pick also.”

Alexis Lafreniere:

What does it feel like to know where you are going, “it’s been a really long last couple of months but fun to know who won the lottery today and really good team obviously with good players, for sure it’s pretty good news and I’m really happy.”

Is it possible you go back to Rimouski before NHL training camp, “for sure, there are a couple of possibilities but we don’t know yet our decision. We will talk with my agents and family and make the best decision that we can.”

What do you know about NY, “I’ve never been to NY. My favorite player for sure this year was Panarin, an unreal year he had and dominant one of the best players in the league, really exciting to watch.”

How much have you been training, “I’ve been on the ice a couple of times a week for maybe two months now. It’s always fun to work on yourself and the player you try to become, and the gym too. To be productive in the NHL you have to work in the gym and on the ice to get better. You need to work hard and try to improve every year.”

What would you ask Artemi Panarin, “I’d probably just ask him what it’s like to play in NY, simple questions, try to get to know him a little bit would be my approach.”

Can you describe your best assets as a player and teammate, “I’d say my vision offensively to create chances for me or my teammates. My leadership is real big, just all my offensive abilities, play offensively with the puck.”

2020 Draft NHL Draft Lottery

The Rangers will pick #1 overall in the 2020 Draft

6:17PM: The New York Rangers have won Phase Two of the 2020 NHL Draft Lottery and will pick #1 overall.

LW Alexis Lafreniere is expected to be selected #1 overall.

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The Rangers had a 12.5% chance at picking #1, 25% chance of picking #10 and a 62.5% chance at picking #11.

Jeff Gorton spoke right after the drawing and said:

  • Does this soften the blow of losing to Carolina, “no question about that, anytime you can pick first, especially this year, it’s a special year we all know that. It was tough up in the bubble, those three games Carolina gave it to us pretty good but surely excited to have this happen tonight.”
  • What stands out about Lafreniere, “Along with the skills, his competitiveness. If you go back to the World Juniors and follow him in Rimouski, right away you can see he has the kind of talent that we are all looking for but he also drags everyone into battle with him and we are all looking for a player like that.”

Lafreniere spoke right after the drawing and said:

  • On his reaction on it being the Rangers, “Really good news, Rangers are an unreal team with really good players, a really nice city. It’s really good news and I’m really happy.”
  • On joining the Rangers, “it really is exciting, for sure. Like you said, Panarin is one of the best players in the league and Zibanejad, guys like that. For sure, they are a really good team and a lot of success in the next couple of years so, for sure, it’s pretty fun.”

The Rangers also own Carolina’s 1st Round Pick and that pick number will be determined by when and where Carolina finishes in the playoffs.

This will be the third time in the past four drafts where the Rangers have more than one selection in the first round. The Rangers were slated to have two selections in the first round last year but traded it back to Winnipeg in the deal for Jacob Trouba.

Adam Rotter: Well this certainly makes up for last week against Carolina. Lafreniere adds another dynamic player to the rebuild and joins Artemi Panarin, Mika Zibanejad, Chris Kreider, Kaapo Kakko, Filip Chytil, Adam Fox, Jacob Trouba and Igor Shesterkin in forming the likely long-term core.

There will be time to wonder about Panarin and Kreider already having the top two LW spots, time to wonder if they should engage Ottawa in trying to trade the pick for picks #3, #5 and more, whether they should keep the pick and select 6-4 center Quinton Byfield and what other moves may come as a domino effect, but those are all for another day. Right now the Rangers own #1 and have a massive asset that they can take in any direction they want. It will most likely be Lafreniere though and he and Kaapo Kakko will hopefully be skating and scoring circles around defensemen for many, many, many years to come.

2020 Draft NHL Draft Lottery

The options for the Rangers pick tonight

The Second Phase of the NHL’s Draft Lottery is tonight at 6PM and the Rangers will either be awarded the #1 overall pick, #10 or #11.

  • They can get the #1 pick by winning the draft lottery. Each team that lost in the qualifying round has an equal 12.5% chance at #1.
  • They can pick #10 if either Minnesota OR Winnipeg, who are below them in the standings, win the lottery. If either of those two teams win, they would jump to #1 and everyone else would move up a slot.
  • They would pick #11 if any of the teams above the Rangers, that lost in the qualifying round (Edmonton, Pittsburgh, Florida, Nashville, Toronto), win the lottery.

The losses in the qualifying round by Pittsburgh, Edmonton and Nashville allowed the Rangers to move up from what would have been the 14th pick.

The Rangers also own Carolina’s first round pick but that selection won’t be determined until Carolina’s season ends.

The Rangers are slated to have two picks in the first round, two in the third round, one in the 4th, 5th and 6th rounds, and three in the seventh round.

The Rangers second round pick was sent to Carolina earlier this season to complete the Adam Fox trade.

2020 Draft 2020 Return To Play NHL Draft Lottery

Phase Two of the NHL Draft Lottery, where the Rangers have a 12.5% chance at #1, is Monday at 6

8/8/20 | Vancouver defeated Minnesota so the Rangers are now only able to select #1, #10 or #11 depending on who wins the lottery.

8/7/20 | 9:31PM: Chicago has defeated Edmonton so the Rangers pick will now be either #1, #9, #10 or #11. If Minnesota comes back to defeat Vancouver in their series than the Rangers will pick no later than 10. If Minnesota loses and either they or Winnipeg win the lottery than the Rangers will pick #10.
6:35PM: Montreal defeated Pittsburgh which should mean that the Rangers can pick either #1 or between 9 and 12 depending on other outcomes and who wins the lottery.

5:36PM: Arizona defeated Nashville.

8:58AM: Calgary defeated Winnipeg to move on to the playoffs.

8/6/20 | 10AM: The NHL has announced that Phase Two of the NHL Draft Lottery, which will award the #1 overall pick in this October’s draft will take place on Monday August 10th at 6PM.

The Rangers, along with every team that loses in the qualifying round, will have a 12.5% chance at getting #1.

From the NHL, “the seven teams not selected in Phase 2, in inverse order of their points percentages at the time of the pause in the regular season, will be assigned 2020 NHL Draft positions 9 through 15.”

The lowest the Rangers can pick though is 13th since the Flames and Jets are both below them in points percentage and those two teams are playing each other.

Adam Rotter: There are a lot of different scenarios but it really breaks down like this, the Rangers get #1 if they win the lottery and, if they don’t win the lottery, their pick is determined by how the teams in front of them do. If Montreal or Chicago or Arizona or Minnesota win their series then the lowest the Rangers can pick goes down from 13 by one. The loser or Calgary/Winnipeg will always be ahead of the Rangers unless the Rangers get #1. So while the Rangers couldn’t pull off an upset, it’s in their best interest to root for Montreal, Chicago, Arizona and Minnesota to all win. That said, Montreal winning would give the Penguins a chance at #1 and that wouldn’t be great, so it’s best to let the Montreal series play out as it will and root for Western Conference upsets.

2020 Draft 2020 Return To Play NHL Draft Lottery

If the Rangers lose to Carolina then they will have a 12.5% chance at #1 overall

The NHL Draft Lottery has revealed that a team that loses in the qualifying round of the return to play plan will select #1 overall.

If the Rangers lose to Carolina they will be in the running to win the #1 overall pick in the Phase Two lottery draw.

Each of the eight teams that lose in the qualifying round will have a 12.5% chance at #1 overall.

Should the Rangers lose in the qualifying round and not win the Phase Two lottery drawing, they will pick between 9 and 15 in the inverse order of their regular season points percentage compared to the other teams that lost in the qualifying round. They are likely to pick #13th in this scenario if all of the higher seeds defeat the lower seeds.

The Rangers also hold the later of Carolina’s two first round picks, via the Brady Skjei trade, but can not get the #1 overall pick from it. If the Rangers beat Carolina and Columbus beats Toronto then the Rangers would be guaranteed a top-15 pick. If the Rangers beat Carolina and Toronto beats Columbus then the Rangers would get the pick that corresponds to when Toronto is knocked out of the playoffs.

If the NHL does not return to play then the Rangers, along with the seven other teams that would have missed the playoffs, would have a 12.5% chance at #1 overall. (TSN)

Adam Rotter: The best case scenario if the Rangers lose to Carolina is, obviously, to get the #1 overall pick and add Alexis Lafrenière to this group. The best case scenario if they win is for Columbus to beat Toronto so that they would be guaranteed a top-15 pick, still own their own pick and get a chance for this group to gain experience. It’s all pretty positive for the Rangers.