The first domino has fallen for the New York Rangers and it comes just six days before the scheduled February 26 trade deadline. As per an official team release, the Rangers are sending defenseman Nick Holden to the Boston Bruins in exchange for a 2018 third round pick and 24-year-old defenseman Rob O’Gara.
The biggest win for the Rangers is the positive net gain they cashed out with on Nick Holden. They originally acquired Holden at the 2016 NHL Entry Draft for a fourth round pick and essentially moved up a round with Holden’s trade to Boston this afternoon. A third round pick is a solid get for a depth defenseman and falls right in line with the recent trade of Michal Kempny. The inclusion of Rob O’Gara likely means some added depth for the Hartford Wolf Pack with many of their young defenseman currently occupying spots with the Rangers.
More on O’Gara from Stanley Cup of Chowder:
He has NHL size (6’4”, 207lbs) and like fellow Providence teammates Matt Grzelcyk, Jeremy Lauzon and Jakub Zboril, he is a left handed shot. However, the similarities generally end there. O’Gara projects to be closer to a bottom 4 defenseman than a offensive or two way Dman like Zboril or Lauzon. Notably, O’Gara can use his size and strong sense of positioning to his advantage whereas Grzelcyk (3rd rd), Lauzon (2nd rd) and Zboril (1st rd) have more advanced offensive upside and mobility to go along with their higher draft pedigrees.
This is just the first of many trades expected from the Rangers during the course of the week, and they started off with a solid value deal. We’ll see what else the Rangers have in store with their biggest assets still yet to be had in Rick Nash and Michael Grabner.