It’s time to chronicle the best prospect pool in hockey.
Writing the prospect rankings every year is a daunting task. It’s incredibly difficult to look at a player’s body of work from a previous season and extrapolate that to what an entire theoretical hockey career might look like. Making sense of available evidence (data, video, etc.) is itself hardly a slam dunk, and then there are the variables that are hidden to an outsider like me or, in certain cases, even the team itself; injuries, team systems issues, mental state, possible growth spurts, and so on.
The pandemic’s derailing of the hockey calendar further complicates matters. Would I have liked to have seen Morgan Barron play against college hockey’s best in do-or-die games in April? You bet. Then there’s the dilemma of how to weigh the performances of Europe-based players, who have played a number of games in a new season, against those in North America who haven’t had a chance to help or hurt their values in seven months. Vitali Kravtsov looks much improved in 21 KHL games, but maybe K’Andre Miller would also show development from last season if he was getting games in Hartford (or even New York) right now.
Even the best talent evaluators are going to get it wrong quite often. I am definitely not on that level by any means, so there’s something perilous about sticking my neck out and effectively publishing material that will inevitably provide good material for people to utilize in Owning Me On the Internet at a later date.
Prospect analysis is an imperfect science and this offseason it is more imperfect than ever. But uncertainty is half of the fun and
I’m contractually obligated to Joe writing these every year is a fulfilling exercise if only to see what I got right, what I got wrong, and what I can learn from it all.
I’ve identified 30 Rangers prospects I felt were worth ranking this year. Here are the remaining prospects who didn’t make my list, in alphabetical order by first name.
Furthermore, eight prospects from last year’s list are no longer Rangers prospects, for one reason or another.
Finally, to ensure the total scope of the Rangers’ youth movement is accounted for, I will again release a top-20 list of players in the organization who are under the age of 24.
The prospect rankings will begin on Monday with the release of players ranked 30-through-26. In the meantime, feel free to check out the 2019 version of our rankings.