Heading into Day 2 of the NHL draft -- a total of six rounds -- the New York Rangers had one pick in the fourth round, and two in the fifth round. In a draft that analysts classified as shallow, that didn't seem to be an issue.
Early on in the day, however, the Blueshirts traded Russian forward Evgeny Grachev to the St. Louis Blues for their third-round pick, No. 72 overall. With this pick, the Rangers selected a high school center from Edina, Minn., Steven Fogarty.
Like their first-round selection, J.T. Miller, Fogarty is a guy with some size at 6-foot-2, 192 pounds. The 18-year-old had 23 goals and 17 assists for his high school team and will play for the Chicago Steel of the USHL, then attend Notre Dame, according to Andrew Gross of the Bergen Record. Fogarty seems like a player who will need a few years of of seasoning before transitioning up the levels to the NHL, and his progress at Notre Dame will dictate that.
Per Minnesota Hockey Prospects:
Plays a physical brand of hockey, grinding it out on the boards and getting dirty in front of the net. Bullies his way around the ice, excelling at playing a power game. Has the ability to finish in tight and pick up his fair share of garbage goals. Has pretty good hands for a big guy and can stick handle with the best of them. Passing could use a bit more touch but this is not a glaring weakness. Does not have elite speed but is a mule on his skates.
Fogarty is a balanced two-way player that is willing to play blue-color hockey.
This is the type of player the Rangers and director of player personnel Gordie Clark covet. Someone who can play two-way hockey, is strong on his skates and isn't afraid to get dirty.
Grachev, on the other hand, was a player who stormed out of the gates after the Rangers drafted him 75th overall in the 2008 draft. He had 80 points (40 goals, 40 assists) in the OHL his first year as an 18-year-old, but just never seemed to to feel comfortable when he made to the jump to the AHL, netting just 28 points in a full season in 2009 and 38 points last year in 73 games. Grachev did get a look last season for eight games with the big club, but never really showed much of anything. Grachev was said to have asked for a trade a year ago because he didn't like the system the Rangers were playing, and general manager Glen Sather tried to trade him throughout the year, but the Blues were the only team who wanted him.
John Tortorella has done a great job mentoring the Rangers' young talent -- just look at someone like Artem Anisimov whom the coach has slowly prodded along -- and Grachev obviously was not only struggling to show any kind of offensive game, but had some "battle" problems as well.