If handicapping potential Rangers 3rd round draft picks is tough, imagine how crazy it gets trying to plan out to the 110th (4th round) and 170th (6th round) picks.

While Director of Player Personnel Gordie Clark spoke of drafting for need rather than selecting the best player available, by the time you get this late in the draft the best policy might be to the best player available. However, I decided to take Clark’s comments into consideration when dealing with the 4th and 6th round picks.

Each player has ratings for the following scouting services: The Hockey News (THN), NHL’s Central Scouting (CS), McKeen’s (McK), and International Scouting Service (ISS). CS breaks down their ratings by North American skaters (NAS), European skaters (ES), North American goaltenders (NAG) and European goaltenders (EG). THN lists each prospect’s NHL Translation. ISS provides a prospects’ comparable NHL player.

Here are the possible 4th round draft picks, listed in alphabetical order:

THN: # Not Available —– CS: # 13 NAG —– McK: # N/A
ISS: # 7 Goalie

The 6-foot-3 and 176 pound Burke is the son of former NHL goaltender Sean Burke. Given that the Devils drafted Stephane Matteau’s son in the 1st round last year, turnabout would be fair play if the Blueshirts tabbed Burke’s son.

As you might expect, the younger Burke’ style of play mirrors that of his father.

“Yes, good and bad. He’s very similar in style. A lot of it is from him just watching. He was old enough when I was still playing to watch a lot of games. He naturally plays a style I think he watched me play,” Sean Burke related to Rich Chere of NJ.com.

“Kids his age now are better-coached from a younger age. They’re more technical. I remember back in my day it was more about just being a good athlete and competing. Young goalies now do that, but they’ve also been well-coached.”

Brendan played last season with Portland (WHL), In 33 games Last season, Burke posted a 24—1 record with a 2.65 GAA and a .908 save percentage and four shutouts. As he did in his rookie season, Burke backed up WHL veteran Mac Carruth.

Prior to joining Portland in 2011, Burke was one of 40 players invited to tryout for the Under-17 US National Development Team. In his rookie season in 2011/12, Burke played in 18 games and posted a 7-2-1 record with 3.58 GAA and .875 SV%.

ISS Scouting Report: “A large goaltender who takes up the net well, Burke was able to see some good action throughout the year showcasing his positional ability. Burke has good rebound control and smothers the puck quickly when it is free. He tracks the puck fairly well through traffic, but needs to improve his angles and be more aggressive after shooters.”

THN: # Not Available —– CS: # 39 ES —– McK: # Not Available
ISS: # 125 (Not Available)

The 6-foot-2 and 178 pound Glukhov played for Omsk 2 in Russia and scored one goal and 13 assists in 41 games. Glukhov’s CS rating improved from his #48 rating in their Mid-Term Rankings.

ISS Scouting Report: “A slick skating defender who loves to rush the puck and make plays. Glukhov had a bit of a coming out part at this years’ U-18 World Championships. He makes a very good first pass, but is most effective from the point where he has good deception skills and vision. He is strong on his skates and is good in one-on-one situations, using his reach and skating speed to keep opponents to the outside. He can be a decently effective physical player at times, separating opponents from pucks well, but he needs to get bigger (more weight) and stronger to compete at the next level.

THN: # Not Available —– CS: # 20 ES —– McK: # Not Available
ISS: #119 (Not Available)

The 6-foot-2 and 187 pound Slepyshev was eligible for the 2012 NHL Draft, but went unselected. I bet there are a few teams that wished they had taken a late round flyer on him last year. This year, Slepyshev played 26 games in the KHL and scored seven goals and two assists, and added an assist in seven games for Russia’s WJC team.

ISS Scouting Report: “Perhaps the best player that was most shockingly left off the draft board last year, Slepyshev came back strong this year. A talented two-way player with good spirit, Slepyshev has great hands and can really make things happen from the perimeter with the puck. He shows good work ethic, can play physical and also can be a real pest to play against. He shows good power elements in his game and can protect the puck well and isn’t afraid to go into the dirty areas of the ice. Saw good minutes for Russia at this year’s WJC and should be in line to be one of their top weapons for next year’s event.”

It turns out that the alphabetical order is also my draft order with goaltender Brendan Burke at the top of my 4th round choices.

Here are the possible 6th round draft picks, listed in alphabetical order:

THN: Not Available —– CS: # 133 NAS —– McK: # Not Available
ISS: #131 (Not Available)

The 5-foot-11 and 182 pound Burroughs played for Regina (WHL) last season and scored five goals and 28 assists in 70 games – with 91 PIM.

ISS Scouting Report: “There are so many reasons to count Burroughs out – he’s too small, he looks frail on the ice, but Burroughs plays the game with tremendous maturity. He thinks the game very well on both sides of the puck, is calm and calculated in almost every situation, plays unselfish and team first style of game and can really move the puck well. He has great vision with the puck, positions himself well offensively and defensively, keeps a strong gap and is extremely reliable in all situations. His size will deter some teams, but he can play big minutes against top players and be very effective.

TSN: # Not Available —– CS: # 64 NAS —– McK: #
ISS: # 149 (Not Available)

The 5-foot-11 and 158 pound blueliner played 25 games for Burnsville High School in Minnesota for his father Janne, Teemu, who is a dual Finish-American citizen, scored nine goals and added 21 assists.

According to an article by Neate Sager of Yahoo Canada, Kivihalme appears to be ready to pass on Junior hockey in order to play for Colorado College (WCHA). However, the youngster is willing to go the Junior route if that is what his eventual NHL team thinks is best.

ISS Scouting Report: ISS scouts like his offensive upside and have noted over the season he has done a better job of picking his spots when looking to jump into the rush and play an offensive style. Kivihalme is not overly physical but is effective at using his body to rub opposing players out of scoring opportunities. Has a tremendous set of hands and he’s able to collect the puck and distribute it to teammates at a very high rate. Teemu is a tremendous skater and his only real knock is his size, as it’s not prototypical, but he is a likeable player thanks to a nice collection of skills. He needs to get bigger (more weight) and stronger to compete at the next level.

THN: # Not Available —– CS: # 180NAS —– McK: # Not Available
ISS: # 154 (Not Available)

The 5-foot-11 and 184 pound Ikonen left his native Finland to further his development in the North American style of hockey. Last season he played 61 games with Kingston (OHL) and scored 22 goals and 29 assists. He spent the 2011/12 season with Kalpa Jr. in Finland and scored 17 goals and 28 assists in 37 games.

ISS Comments: “Draft Sleeper! Good offensive awareness with great low zone vision. Works very well along the boards and off the cycle. Displays great strength in his lower body and on his skates. North-South offensive style. Developed into a leader on the young Frontenacs squad.”

Since the Rangers do have depth at forward, I would list Ikonen as the third of the 6th round choices. As for the two blueliners, the question comes down to a short-term prospect (Burroughs) or a long-term prospect (Kivihalme). In the end, I would go with Kivihalme because of his plus skating ability and the fact that it is possible that he might yet grow into an NHL-size defenseman.


Some interesting news coming out of Ottawa where Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun is reporting that the Rangers are quietly shopping former 1st round draft pick J.T. Miller. Garrioch writes that the Rangers are looking for proven help.

If Wayne Gretzky can be traded, then no player is truly :untouchable” so I have no problem with the Rangers gauging how much interest there is in Miller. However, given that Miller is only 20-years-old; the Blueshirts can’t be looking for a grizzled veteran. They have to get someone back in their mid-20s or possibly grabbing a 1st round pick if there is a player they really like.

However, if the report out of Ottawa is true, could there be a more “sinister” motive behind shopping Miller? Pair this rumor up with the Rangers passing on buying out Brad Richards this year, and you have a GM who is looking to roll the dice one more time in an attempt to win a Stanley Cup – future of the organization be damned.

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