New York Rangers Trade Up to Select Local Defenseman Drew Fortescue at 2023 NHL Draft

The New York Rangers made a shrewd move during the recent 2023 NHL Draft, executing a trade to secure the player they had specifically targeted. In a strategic maneuver, the Rangers traded the No. 91 pick and a 2024 seventh-rounder to the Pittsburgh Penguins, moving up just one spot to select New York native Drew Fortescue with the No. 90 pick. The addition of Fortescue, a 6-foot-2 defenseman, strengthens the Rangers’ prospect pool and reinforces their commitment to building a competitive team.

Rangers draft pick fortescue has ties to gm drury, new york
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New York Rangers trade

Fortescue, a product of the United States National Team Development Program, became the second player from the program drafted by the Rangers in a span of 24 hours. The team had previously chosen right winger Gabriel Perreault with the No. 23 overall pick in the first round. Fortescue’s defensive prowess and steady presence on the ice played a crucial role in Team USA’s gold medal triumph at the IIHF World U18 Championship held in April. Furthermore, Fortescue and Perreault have both committed to playing for Boston College in the upcoming NCAA season, adding further promise to their development.

A Rivalry Reimagined

Despite growing up as a devoted New York Islanders fan, Fortescue expressed his delight at being drafted by the Rangers, acknowledging the rivalry between the two teams. Fortescue’s dedication to his new team was evident as he eagerly embraced the opportunity to represent the Rangers and contribute to their success. His selection not only bolsters the Rangers’ defense but also adds an intriguing layer to the storied rivalry between the Islanders and the Rangers.

Familiarity with the Rangers

According to News Break, Fortescue shares a connection with Rangers President and General Manager Chris Drury through their involvement with the Mid Fairfield Rangers during their teenage years. This pre-existing relationship likely played a role in the Rangers’ decision to draft Fortescue, as they were familiar with his abilities and character both on and off the ice.

John Lilley’s Assessment

John Lilley, the Rangers’ Director of Player Personnel and Director of Amateur Scouting, expressed his admiration for Fortescue’s skills and the passion the Rangers’ staff had for him. Fortescue’s time playing in Europe also drew praise from European scouts, solidifying the team’s conviction in his potential. Lilley emphasized Fortescue’s solid defensive game, ability to move the puck, offensive contributions, and the added edge he brings to his play.

Size Matters

In addition to Fortescue, the Rangers made several other draft selections with a focus on size and physicality. The team selected left-handed defenseman Rasmus Larsson, standing at an imposing 6-foot-3, in the fifth round. Larsson’s impressive performance in the Swedish Junior League showcased his ability to accumulate points while maintaining a solid defensive presence.

The Rangers continued to bolster their prospect pool with Dylan Roobroeck, a towering 6-foot-7 forward chosen in the sixth round. Roobroeck’s substantial size combined with his impressive scoring abilities, evidenced by his 15 goals and 38 assists in 68 games for the Oshawa Generals in the Ontario Hockey League, make him an intriguing prospect.

The team’s final selection, Ty Henricks, a 6-foot-5 left winger, offers yet another physically imposing presence. Henricks’ contributions in the United States Hockey League, where he recorded nine goals and nine assists in 47 games, showcase his potential to become a force on the ice. Henricks will embark on his collegiate career at Western Michigan University.

Emphasizing Playoff-Style Hockey

While size played a role in the Rangers’ draft selections, Lilley clarified that it was a combination of emphasis and opportunity. Recognizing the significance of size and physicality in playoff-style hockey, the Rangers felt confident in their choices. The team’s draft strategy reflects a commitment to building a well-rounded roster capable of excelling in all facets of the game.

Danyal Ahmad 

Talented article writer with a gift for crafting captivating content. Specializes in creating unique and easily digestible articles that engage readers. Committed to delivering informative and enjoyable reading experiences for a wide audience.

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