The NY Rangers organization in november announced the hiring of Alex Nellis as the new GM of the hitorical organization.

Needless to say Nellis had his work cutout for him with a depleted roster, deptch chart , prospect list etc etc etc.

Well a week ago - the Rangers organization finally had a little good luck. With the 3rd best odds of having the 1st overall pick, the management team had prepared to select 3rd or 4th , but the NEFHL announced Monday night that the Rangers had won the lottery and with that, assured themselves of selecting elite talent Connor Bedard.


That was just the start of a crazy week in the big apple.

The second NYR had been given the 1st overall pick - GM Nellis' comments from December resurfaced that his 1st round pick of 2023 was available , and when he was interviewed following the announcement Monday he repeated it "As I said in December, we are not in position to NOT consider offers, Connor Bedard is an elite talent, but this organization is in dire need of depth - we have NONE at ANY position... so if an offer comes, I would move the 1st overall pick"

And that is when the rumours started swirling, GM Nellis was receiving massive offers from many teams and that he was looking to add to his multiple 1st and 2nd round picks which was (at the time) 1st overall and35th, 42nd, 46th, 52nd and 58th overall in the 2nd round.

On Friday, only 4 days after being announced as the lottery winner, GM Nellis moved the 1st overall selection to cross town rivals NY islanders for :

4 x 1st round picks, 1 x 2nd round pick and Anthony Beauvillier.

Now with the Rangers owning in the 2023 draft

1st round
7th overall
13th overall
15th overall
22nd overall

2nd round
35th overall
39th overall
42nd overall
46th overall
52nd overall
58th overall

GM Nellis agreed to take a few questions from the reporters following the announcement of the trade:

Reporter "Can you explain to us the draft idea of having more picks vs wanting the best pick"

Nellis "I think every team has a different reality, if our organization was healthier in assets, the pick would of never been available, but before putting a player like Connor Bedard here... we need to build a deep team , and we have nothing - having 3 picks in the top 15 and 8 picks in the top 50 vs having 1st overall was more what we wanted - also - don't forget , we were suppose to pick 3rd overall, this was found money and we decided to gamble with it"

Reporter "Rumours are you were offered numerous well established players, why go with picks instead"

Nellis "It's kind of the same answer as Bedard, I can confirm were offered FANTASTIC young players for the pick, but if we acquire them...who are they gonna play with? how will they develop on a roster with so many holes in it... Free Agency will be key this summer, but we cannot expect for us to compete in 2024 and 2025, so I rather have a solid prospect pool and in the next 2-3 years they develop together, and we already own 2 x 1st round picks in 2024 , so this also confirmed why we wanted go through the draft route"

Reporter "Why was this not done more towards the draft , why was this done so quuickly"

Nellis "That's a great question and the answer is simple - I told every GM that made offers, I did not want to go down the "bidding war" rabit hole - I am still new and budding wars usually lead to burning bridges - we were honest with all the main GMs that made offers, some were willing to always offer more but we stuck to the offers made to us, when we asked the Islanders to make a small adjustement to their original offer which they agreed to - it was hard for us to look back"

So looks like the Rangers are ready for June 22nd when they will make a total of 10 selections. When Nellis was asked if he plans on moving any of the picks, he ended the question period with this

"It's a deep draft, we are making these 10 picks and the 2023 draft will be known as the turning point for our organization and making this team mine"

For the NY Post
Mark Bryan