Just a few hours after the Emerson Etem trade rumors hit the internet, the 23-year-old forward is on his way to Alain Vigneault's old stomping grounds. According to Elliotte Friedman, the New York Rangers have traded Emerson Etem to the Vancouver Canucks in exchange for Nicklas Jensen and a 2017 6th-round draft pick.
Obviously Etem never got a fair shake since arriving in New York over the summer, and he has constantly been in Alain Vigneault's dog house all season long. At first glance, this is extremely underwhelming return for the Rangers, as they essentially traded Etem for Vancouver's version of Etem. Given the recent success of Jayson Megna since he recall, it is expected that Jensen will report to the Hartford Wolf Pack, which would save the Rangers approximately $860,000 in cap space with the move.
One bright spot is that Jensen is still waiver-exempt, meaning he will not have to pass through waivers if he is recalled and sent back down to the AHL. That is something that limited the Rangers flexibility with Etem, and allows them to move Jensen around freely without the risk of losing him via a waiver claim.
In 27 appearances with the Utica Comets this season, Jensen has compiled four goals, eight assists for a total of 12 points. Compared to Etem, Jensen only has 24 games of NHL experience, so it will be interesting to see how the Rangers handle him moving forward.