Fearing the Devils would take defenseman Brayden Schneider, the Rangers made a deal with the Calgary Flames to leap into New Jersey and take the 19-year-old with the 19th pick. Larry Brooks of The Post reported.
The Rangers dealt the 22nd and 72nd overall picks for the 6-foot-2 Schneider, who plays an aggressive style and is not afraid to get involved aggressively.
“It shows that I’ve made a good impression on him and he thinks I’m a guy who can come into his organization and help him,” Schneider told the Rangers to select him. “I would give them my best effort every day and they got my everything, I am excited and I am waiting for the pressure.”
Schneider is coming on a breakout year with the Brandon Wheat Kings in the WHL, scoring 42 points (seven goals, 35 assists) in 60 matches.
“The way I describe myself, I am a two-way physical defenseman who takes great pride in himself and being a guy that is hard to play against and in your face,” he said. “When the opportunity comes to make a good pass or jump into play or take a shot on the net, I’m ready to take it.”
Schneider is also a strong skater and effective puck-handler.
For Lafreniere, the Rangers’ top pick said he is excited to play at Madison Square Garden.
“Hi Rangers fans, I’m really excited to be a part of the Rangers and to meet you,” Lafreniere said moments after being drafted. “I hope you have a great night and can’t wait to see you.”