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Rangers' three first-round draft picks doing well

Rangers general manager Jeff Gorton introduces coach David

Rangers general manager Jeff Gorton introduces coach David Quinn at a news conference at Madison Square Garden on May 24, 2018. Photo Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

All three of the Rangers’ first-round picks this past summer made their national teams for this week’s World Junior Championships — winger Vitaly Kravtsov (Russia), defenseman K’Andre Miller (United States) and defenseman Nils Lundkvist (Sweden). Third-rounders Jacob Ragnarsson and Joey Keane were among the final cuts for Sweden and the U.S.

Kravtsov, who turned 19 Sunday, was the ninth overall pick. He has played 33 games for Traktor Chelyabinsk and has 17 points (six goals, 11 assists), which leads all players 20 years old and younger in the KHL.

Miller, 18, chosen 22nd overall, has been tearing it up in his freshman season for the University of Wisconsin. He has 17 points (four goals, 13 assists) in 18 games. Lundkvist, 18, the 28th pick, has one goal and five assists in 24 games for Lulea in the Swedish Hockey League (SHL).

The Rangers expect Kravtsov to come to North America after his KHL season ends and his contract expires. At the moment, Miller is expected to stay at Wisconsin and Lundkvist in Sweden next season.

The tournament begins Wednesday in Vancouver and Victoria, British Columbia.  

Around the rink

David Quinn stayed with the same lineup he used Saturday, meaning defenseman Tony DeAngelo missed out on playing against his hometown team, the Flyers. It was the first time he sat out multiple games since Oct. 13-25, when he sat out six straight . . . With DeAngelo out, Quinn tried his five-forward power play again, with center Mika Zibanejad playing the point. But the unit seemed to struggle, and when asked after the game if he will stay with it, Quinn laughed and said, “Kaboom!’’ . . . When they return from the Christmas break, the Rangers will play 10 games in 18 days and 13 in 24, leading into their All-Star Game bye week, which begins Jan. 20.

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