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Rangers draft Tambellini

6/30/2013

NEWARK, N.J. -- Without a pick in the first two rounds of the 2013 NHL Entry Draft, the New York Rangers selected a promising young center with a well-known hockey pedigree as their third-round pick at No. 65.

Adam Tambellini, 18, is the son of former Edmonton Oilers general manager Steve Tambellini and the younger brother of former New York Islander Jeff Tambellini. But even with two family members to prepare him for what to expect come draft day, Adam said he was so excited he "blacked out" when his name was called.

"It was an unbelievable feeling and I'm very happy," said Tambellini, a University of North Dakota commit.

The native of Port Moody, British Columbia, finished with 14 goals and 27 points for the Surrey Eagles of the British Columbia Hockey League. He will enter his freshman season with UND in the fall.

UND head coach Adam Hakstol is already high on his future player and his potential moving forward.

"Adam's entire path has put him in position to succeed. This year, in his first year out of high school, he was a key player on the best team in the BCHL. Now he has the opportunity to step in and contribute with us right away," Hakstol said in a statement provided to reporters Sunday.

"He's really talented, and the offensive side of his game is outstanding. Where he's excited to keep working and improving is to become that reliable, responsible two-way forward, and he's going to be in great position to do that."

Tambellini was the Rangers' first pick of the day, with both first- and second-round picks previously given up to acquire Rick Nash and Ryane Clowe, respectively.

According to Rangers director of player personnel Gordie Clark, the dearth of picks was brutal to endure in such a deep draft.

"I've just never sat there and watched so much talent just walk through the tables to get to the podium, even in the second [round]. There were a lot of real good names," he said. "I would never give Nash back … and Ryane Clowe was such a big part of our March … so I wouldn't have done a different thing."

Quick hits on the rest of the Rangers' draft picks:

Third round, 75th overall: Pavel Buchnevich, an 18-year-old Russian winger, is currently playing in the Kontinental Hockey League with the Severstal Cherepovets. He is committed to playing two more years in the KHL, according to Clark, who likened him to former Rangers draftee Alexei Cherepanov, who passed away from a heart condition in 2008.

Third round, 80th overall: Anthony Duclair, a 17-year-old winger, averaged almost a point per game with 20 goals and 50 points in 55 games for the Quebec Remparts of the WMJHL. Duclair, a native of Quebec, said he was surprised that the Rangers drafted him since he had no contact with them at the NHL combine. His father is happy, however, as he is a "big-city guy" and a huge Rangers fan.

Fourth round, 110th overal: Ryan Graves, a 6-foot-4, 220-pound defenseman, adds size and snarl to the Rangers' crop of defensive prospects. Graves finished with three goals, 16 points and 90 PIM for the Prince Edward Island Rocket of the QMJHL. Clark said his second-half of the season was a dramatic improvement from the first half.

Sixth round, 170th overall: Mackenzie Skapski, a 6-foot-3 goaltender from Kootenay of the WHL, also had a down first half, according to Clark, but improved over the course of the year.