The New York Rangers made six selections in the 2022 NHL Entry Draft. The Rangers added five forwards and one defenseman to their prospect pool. Coming into the draft the Rangers had just four picks, but a draft-day trade of Alexandar Georgiev brought the number up to six. The Rangers Director of Player Personnel and Director of Amateur Scouting John Lilley spoke with the media about the newest New York Rangers draft class.

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63rd Overall Pick: Adam Sýkora (C/LW 5’11 175 LBS)

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The 17-year-old Slovakian forward has all the makings of a future NHL player. Sykora has played the last two seasons in the Slovakian senior league for HK Nitra. In 46 games this season he produced 7 goals and 17 assists. That might not sound like a lot but remember he is just 17 playing with men. Sykora was the youngest member of the Slovakian World Championship team. He played very well, scoring 2 goals in 6 games. This week on my podcast The Broadway Hat Byron Bader of talked about how high he was on Sykora. Even comparing his draft year to Kirill Kaprizov.

Elite Prospects listed Sykora as their #38 ranked prospect. Here is quote from their scouting report:

Few players match Sýkora’s intensity on the ice. He’s all-in, every shift. He bounces from opponent to opponent, barely giving them any time to handle the puck, blocks shots like he’s immune to pain, and attacks loose pucks like the fate of the world depends on his ability to catch them. On the backcheck, he pursues escaping opponents and completely neutralizes them.

EliteProspects 2022 NHL Draft Guide

97th Overall Pick: Bryce McConnell-Barker (C 6’1 185 LBS)

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BMB, think Rangers fans can agree on that’s a good nickname for him, is a two-way center that projects as a bottom 6 player. This past season with the Soo Greyhounds in the OHL he had 23 goals and 26 assists in 68 games and was invited to play in the CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game. BMB was the Alliance U16 League MVP when he was a member of the U16 AAA London Jr. Knights. That great season led Soo to select him 4th Overall in the 2020 OHL Priority Selection Draft.

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Elite Prospects listed BMB as their #67 ranked prospect. Here is a quote from their scouting report:

The centreman’s supporting game is his biggest asset. He’s the link between all of his teammates’ plays, a predictable and timely ally all on the ice, offensively and defensively. He understands the shutdown game, the necessity to balance pressure and effort with sound positioning, to remove options from the opposition, and limit the time spent running around the defensive zone.

EliteProspects 2022 NHL Draft Guide

111th Overall Pick: Noah Laba (C 6’2 190 LBS)

Laba is an overager after getting passed over in the draft last year. He is a physical power forward that uses his big 6’2 frame. This past season he played in the USHL with the Lincoln Stars producing 15 goals and 24 assists in 50 games. Laba racked up 115 penalty minutes as well. He was previously committed to go play next year at Colgate but it appears that he recently changed his commitment to Colorado College.

159th Overall Pick: Vittorio (Victor) Mancini (D 6’3 215 LBS)

Mancini is a double overager. At 20 years old he is one of the oldest players selected in the draft. This past season he played for the University of Omaha-Nebraska playing in 38 games and producing 5 points. While at UNO he played alongside fellow defenseman Brandon Scanlin, who the Rangers signed as a UDFA following the season. Heading into the 2020 NHL Draft Elite Prospects had the following scouting report on him:

Mancini played left defense on Frolunda’s second pairing. His north-south speed was decent for his size. He was effective when he kept things simple and made quick, short-range plays to stay out of trouble. Mancini’s ability to read the game off the puck was something that stood out. He also made excellent reads and played a very alert game defensively.

EliteProspects 2020 NHL Draft Guide

161st Overall Pick: Maxim Barbashev (LW 6’1 185 LBS)

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Barbashev is an extremely interesting prospect. His brother Ivan has been a solid player and a Stanley Cup Champion with the St. Louis Blues. Maxim has a good season in the QMJHL with the Moncton Wildcats where he had 15 goals and 27 assists in 59 games. He was invited to play in CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game and was named QMJHL All-Rookie Team. He was the #98 ranked player by NHL Central Scouting (NA). Shawn Wilken of The Hockey Writers had a good scouting report on him:

Barbashev excels at playing a physical style, whether it’s open-ice hits, battles in corners, or battling for position in front of the net. He’s an absolute menace when it comes to his net-front presence, as he’s nearly impossible to move. He has a lanky frame, but he’s exceptionally strong and tenacious. He recorded 15 goals and 42 points in 59 games, and most of his time was spent digging for loose pucks in greasy areas. Barbashev has good speed and edgework, which he utilizes well when lowering the shoulder for a thunderous hit. He delivered his fair share of body checks last season, many of which sent opposing players flying.

THW 2022 NHL Draft Guide

191st Overall Pick: Zakary Karpa (C 6’2 185 LBS)

Karpa is also a double overager and at 20 years old is one of the oldest draft picks. Rangers fans might recognize the last name, hid dad Dave played 94 games in a Rangers jersey from 2001-03. The youngest Karpa played two years with the USNTDP before playing in the USHL for the 2020-21 season. He is currently playing at Harvard where he scored 6 goals and had 6 assists in 33 games this past season. Helping the Crimson win the ECAC championship. Mollie Walker of the New York Post shared a great family picture of the Karpa’s from Dave’s time in New York.

New York Rangers Draft Class

I am a big fan of the Rangers first two selections in Sykora and McConnell-Barker. I think the Rangers got some great value in both those selections and both project to be NHL contributors. The prospect that interests me the most is Maxim Barbashev. Some scouts love him, and some think he is overhyped. I like his style of play and I think he can turn into a nice prospect for them. Laba and Karpa are two big centers, a position the Rangers are looking to strengthen. Mancini is a big defenseman that can develop at the college level for a few years. At the end of the day, I think it was a solid draft for the New York Rangers, obviously, time will tell if this is a successful draft class or not.

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: @KHallNYYou 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.

About Author

Kyle Hall

Kyle is a lifelong diehard New York Rangers fan and in 2020 took over as the teams beat writer for Belly Up Sports. Kyle hosts a NY Rangers podcast on the Belly Up Podcast Network called The Broadway Hat Podcast. Kyle also covers USA Hockey and is a credentialed media member of the International Ice Hockey Federation.

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