Ryan Reaves has been acquired from the Vegas Golden Knights in exchange for a 2022 third-round draft pick.
The #NYR acquire Ryan Reaves from Vegas for a 2022 third-round pick.— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) July 30, 2021
The Rangers’ latest acquisition is another sign validating the team’s desire to get tougher and grittier to play against, and Reaves will undoubtedly serve as the team’s enforcer. There’s not much to really say about the move, because the team clearly is taking steps to address its’ “Tom Wilson problem”.
Reaves has logged 71 fights in his NHL career, 56 with the St. Louis Blues, 9 with the Vegas Golden Knights, and 6 with the Pittsburgh Penguins. He’s not as prolific a fighter as he was earlier in his career, as he logged three fights in 2020-21, three in 2019-20, and three in 2018-19 per HockeyFights.com. Reaves has one-year left on his contract, and he will count $1.75 million against the salary cap.
After this trade the Rangers have $13,662,698 in cap space remaining with Igor Shesterkin as an RFA needing to be re-signed. After that they’ll have some money to upgrade the top-six, because so far the forward moves made have been on the bottom-six, and haven’t exactly moved the needle in a meaningful way.
There’s no questioning that as constructed the team will be tougher to play against, but defensively and offensively the forward group is worse off than last season. There’s still time for Chris Drury to make moves, but it would certainly appear that it could be a situation of Jack Eichel or bust.