NY Rangers Rumors: New York Announces Expansion Protected List, Targeting Brännström In Draft?

With just a few days before the NHL expansion draft and the actual NHL draft, the rumor mill is starting to heat up around the New York Rangers. Here's the latest news & rumors on both fronts that you need to know:

New York announces expansion protected list
The expansion draft for the Vegas Golden Knights is looming on Wednesday, and the Rangers finally released the 11 players they chose to protect. Here's a list of those players, as well as all the ones that are eligible to be drafted by the Knights.

The expansion draft will be held Wednesday, June 21 at 10:00 am ET. Results will be announced during the NHL Awards ceremony later that day.

Rangers targeting Brännström in draft?
New York is also preparing for the actual NHL draft on Friday, and appear to be targeting defenseman Erik Brännström with the No. 21 pick, according to Blueshirt Banter's Alex Nunn.

Erik Brännström might not have the sheer offensive upside of international team-mate and fellow 2017 draft prospect Timothy Liljegren, but the Swedish blueliner is everything that NHL clubs look for in a dynamic modern defenseman.

Brännström’s game is built on strong skating, smart decision-making, and a high compete level. He plays bigger than his size would suggest, and instinctively moves the puck well under pressure without ever looking rushed.

Brännström’s toolset allows him to excel in all three zones; He’s an excellent puck-mover with tremendous vision, capable of confidently running a powerplay, yet he’s often the first guy to hustle back and shut down a scoring chance at the other end too, utilizing particularly good gap control and a strong stick to snuff out opposing opportunities.

The concern over Brännström for early-round NHL clubs is likely to be his size and impact timeframe. At 5’10 and around 180lbs, Brännström is one of the smaller players likely to go in the first round, and he’s probably a number of years away from dressing in the NHL. At the same time, he’s a fearless competitor and one of 2017’s younger prospects, just making the cut for this June. Passing on him would be a mistake.

It's the first time in five years that the Rangers will have a first-round pick.

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