Tarrytown, NY: Monday, June 26th. With the craziness of this weekend's NHL Entry Draft behind us, it's time to look towards the future.

Up until this past week, the Rangers' future was steady but not inspiring. The team was still a number one center and a right-shot top pairing defenseman away from being a serious Stanley Cup contender. As Henrik Lundqvist began the back nine portion of his illustrious career, it was fair to wonder just how long the Rangers' Stanley Cup window would stay open.

The Blueshirts' high-command of GM Jeff Gorton and Team President Glen Sather had been attempting to retool the roster over the past few seasons, rather than rebuild.

The logic was if the window for contention is still open, we just need to tweak the roster rather than to overhaul it.

That logic no longer holds weight. After reaching the Eastern Conference Finals three times in four years and one Stanley Cup Final, the core of the team has clearly run their course. After falling to the Penguins in Round One of the 2016 playoffs, and then failing to advance past the Senators this past spring, it was clear that it was time to shake things up.

First moves

First came the buyout of beloved defenseman Dan Girardi, and soon, his fellow core member, Derek Stepan, would follow him out the door. He was traded to Arizona, along with back-up netminder Antti Raanta for a first-round draft pick and young defenseman Anthony DeAngelo.

With those moves and the subsequent loss of Oscar Lindberg in the Expansion Draft, the Blueshirts find themselves lacking at the center position and still without any upgrades on the blue line. On top of that, they now need a new back-up goaltender to boot.

Even with all these issues, the Rangers have managed to take a once uninspiring future and add some nice talent to their formerly barren farm system.

Five straight years of trading away your first-round pick will do that to an organization.

Fear not Rangers' fans, because, with two first-rounders this past weekend and some smart picking at the bottom of the draft pool, the future isn't as bleak as it may seem. This week is the Rangers' annual Prospect Development Camp, and, with that, comes a portal into the next generation of Blueshirts.

Prospects to watch

It seems that there are some good skaters coming up the pipe line. Two such players that made an immediate impression were Lias Andersson, the first-round pick curtesy of Arizona, and Gabriel Fontaine, a sixth-round pick in last years draft.

Andersson skated smoothly, efficiently, and, most importantly, explosively in his first ever skate as a member of the Rangers' organization. All of his moves were refined, electric, and yet, there's still plenty of room for him to grow, thus making his ceiling even higher than initially presumed. While all movements were done sans puck it was obvious to those in attendance that this young man will be a key cog in the Rangers' machine, possible as soon as the 2018-19 season.

As for Fontaine, sixth-round picks don't normally have the ability to make you second guess why they went so late in the draft. But it seemed impossible that this young man (he just turned 20 in April) was anything other than a first-round pick.

His swift skating and cutting ability, coupled with his explosiveness -- which is the mark of a truly talented athlete -- and his heavy shot will make scouts and talent evaluators salivate at the thought of his future potential. While these were no-contact, no-puck drills, Fontaine didn't need them to prove his mettle.

Fontaine is turning pro this year after having spent last season with the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies of the QMJHL. Don't be surprised if this young center forces the Rangers' hand and breaks his way into the lineup this season.

With his skill set, he could take over for the departed Oscar Lindberg and then some.

As this week progresses we will see more and more intense drills as well as all of the prospects that the Rangers invited to camp and even a few scrimmages. Hopefully, there are more gems down on the farm just waiting to get their chance to show what they can do. The future's looking bright New York, and it's filled with Blueshirts.

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