Yohann Auvitu, a native of Ivry-sur-Siene, France could be the cheapest, least painful, and low-risk signing for the Rangers' blue line this offseason, if they are willing to take a chance on the 26-year-old. Auvitu has never played an NHL game, but has gained notice from his recent success in the Finnish league and at the World Championships for France.
Appears to be some NHL interest in French d-man, Yohann Auvitu. #18 for those scoring at home. Decent skater and moves the puck well.— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) May 16, 2016
Okay, so not a whole lot to go off of from a scouting stance here, but there are four words in this tweet that stick out, in which the Rangers could absolutely benefit from. D-man. Moves. Puck. Well.
Outside a select few players on the Rangers' back-end, the Blueshirts were lacking defenseman that could make good outlet passes to their teammates, and their teammates only. Even though Dreger does not have any higher praise than "decent" for Auvitu's skating ability, one would have to believe he is up to par with the NHL, especially if he's drawing notice while playing for a French team that is not typically known as one of hockey's international powerhouses.
Here are some stats from Elite Prospects, showing Auvitu's increase in offensive production at almost every level in the past few years.
Autivu helped HIFK all the way to the Liiga Finals, where they surrendered a championship to a Tappara team that featured the highly recognized prospect, Patrik Laine.
In a later tweet, Dreger went on to clarify that Auvitu has drawn interest from at least five NHL teams and that he still has one year left as a player eligible for an entry level contract, which should be mouth watering for a GM (cough, cough) going to the offseason with tight cap space.
Obviously he wouldn't be brought in with Norris Trophy expectations, but under the circumstances of a Rangers team that struggled defensively this year and the minimal cap space Auvitu would take up, this should be a no brainer for Gorton to consider.