The 2021 New York Rangers draft class is big. Chris Drury followed the same theme from the Rangers first pick to its last. They wanted size and hard nosed players as the Rangers look to shift the identity of the organization. Five of the Rangers eight picks are 6’2 or taller, including 6’8 monster goalie Talyn Boyko. Before the First Round Chris Drury traded away fan favorite Pavel Buchnevich to the St. Louis Blues for a 2022 Second Round pick and 6’2 hard nosed winger Sammy Blias. That trade set the tone for the weekend. The Rangers want to become a tougher team and the additions of Barclay Goodrow, Sammy Blais and this draft class are the start of that change.
Lets meet the newest New York Rangers Draft Class.
Brennan Othmann- 16th Overall Pick Flint Firebirds (OHL) 6’0 175LBS
I really like this pick a lot. Othmann is a big strong kid that has a ton of skill and grit. I had Adam Kimelman, NHL Draft Analyst for NHL.com, on my podcast The Broadway Hat Podcast this week and Othmann was his pick for the Rangers. This is what Kimelman had to say about the pick “Othmann’s skill and skating impressed during his play in Switzerland, and he carried that into strong play at the U-18 Worlds. The Rangers have a number of talented young forwards, topped by Alexis Lafreniere, the No. 1 pick of the 2020 NHL Draft, and Othmann’s hard-nosed play and strong forechecking would give them more open ice to work with.”
Jayden Grubbe- 65th Overall pick Red Deer Rebels (WHL) 6’3 200LBS
Grubbe is a big two way center that Adam Kimelman also talked about on the podcast. Grubbe only played in 5 games this year because of a torn ACL. He also is a great leader and was the Captain this past season for Red Deer. Steve Kournianos from TheDraftAnalyst.com appeared on my podcasts NHL draft preview show as well. This is the scouting report he had on Grubbe. “A bulldog of a two-way center who seems to treat every shift like a seek-and-destroy mission, Grubbe suffered an unfortunate ACL tear that ended his draft season just five games in. He’s quick for his size and is an excellent penalty killer, but questions surrounding the offense he can generate won’t be answered until he’s fully recovered for the 2021-22 campaign.”
Ryder Korczak- 75th Overall Pick Moose Jaw Warriors (WHL) 5’11 170LBS
I loved this pick. Korczak is a really talented offensive player that the Rangers traded up to grab. At 5’11 Korczak was the smallest player the Rangers drafted. He has averaged a point per game in the WHL over the past two seasons. He is a dangerous player on the power play with a really good quick shot and a great passer. This is the scouting report TheDraftanalyst.com had. “It was a tough rebuilding year for Moose Jaw, even in a shortened season in the Regina bubble. Korczak helped keep the young Warriors in most games with gritty two-way play and selfless playmaking in the offensive zone. He was one of the WHL’s leading rookie scorers a season ago but saw his production take a bit of a hit in the pandemic-shortened season.”
Brody Lamb- 104th Overall Pick Green Bay Gamblers (USHL) 6’0 165LBS
This kid can score. Lamb absolutely lit it up this year in the Minnesota High School league. Putting up 52 goals in 24 games for the Dodge County Wildcats and was also the team Captain. Lamb got a small taste of the USHL playing in 10 regular season games and a playoff game for the Green Bay Gamblers. Lamb should return to the USHL next season before heading to college hockey powerhouse the University of Minnesota. He is only 17 years old and needs a lot more time to develop but he is definitely a prospect to keep an eye on the next couple seasons.
Kalle Väisänen- 106th Overall Pick TPS (Liiga) 6’4 180LBS
Väisänen is a big, fast, and physical forward. He put up 30 points in 27 games for the U20 TPS team. If TPS sounds familiar its the Liiga team Kaapo Kakko played for. Scouting reports say that Väisänen needs to fill out more but has a strong shot and has great stickhandling skill for a player his size. He should play for the senior TPS team next year so it will be interesting to see how he performs against men.
Talyn Boyko- 112th Overall Pick Tri-City Americans (WHL) 6’8 200LBS
This kid is a monster. Chris Drury apparently wanted to add size up front and in goal. Boyko had the best year of his WHL career this past season. He was named the starter for the first time in his three years in Tri City and delivered. He recorded his first career shutout and sported a .901 save percentage this year. Goalies can take years to develop but at 6’8 he definitely has our attention.
Jaroslav Chmelar- 144th Overall Jokerit U20 (SM-sarja) 6’4 200LBS
Another huge offensive player. Big bodied forward with goal-scoring ability, good around the net and strong away from the puck. He represented the Czech Republic at the U18 World Junior Championships. He had a goal and assist in 5 games at the tournament. Chmelar scored 5 goals and had 8 assists in 15 games playing for the U18 Jokerit this past season.
Hank Kempf- 208th Overall Pick 6’2 190LBS
Kempf is a heavy hitting defenseman that can contribute on offense too. He has played in the USHL for the Muskegon Lumberjacks the past three seasons. Kempf had four goals and six assists this past season in just 26 games. He also is not afraid to the drop the gloves if he has too. Kempf will be playing college hockey new season at Cornell.
Upcoming for the Rangers
Now that both the Expansion Draft and NHL Draft are over the hockey world attention shifts to free agency. The free agency frenzy starts July 28th so expect this offseason to heat up even more. In the past week we have seen some huge trades go down around the NHL. I expect that trend to continue next as teams try to position themselves heading into free agency and the future.
For further draft coverage check out my NHL Draft preview podcast episode with Adam Kimelman and Steve Kournianos.
Be sure to bookmark our hockey page for hockey coverage and follow Belly Up Hockey on Twitter: @BellyUpHockey. Follow me on Twitter for more takes on the New York Rangers and USA Hockey: @KHallNY. You can also listen to my NY Rangers podcast The Broadway Hat Podcast on Apple Podcast and Spotify for Rangers news and interviews with past and current players.