The New York Rangers have acquired forward Andrew Copp for the Winnipeg Jets for Morgan Barron and two second-round picks with conditions and options detailed below. The Rangers are also sending a 2023 fifth-round pick to the Jets and getting Winnipeg’s 2023 sixth-rounder.
To clean things up: To Wpg… a 2nd that can become a 1sr if NYR wins two rounds and Copp plays 50% of the games. Another 2nd, WPG’s option in 22 or 23. A final 5th round pick in 2023. Plus, prospect Morgan Barron. To NYR: Andrew Copp and a 6th in 2023.— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) March 21, 2022
The conditional second-round pick that could convey to a first-rounder is for 2022. The other second-rounder, if in 2022, would be the one that originally belonged to the St. Louis Blues and was acquired along with Sammy Blais in the infamous Pavel Buchnevich trade. The pick would be the Rangers’ own second-rounder if Winnipeg chooses to defer it to 2023.
Copp, who can play center and left wing, provides the Rangers with a versatile middle-six presence who can help drive play offensively — a key area of need for the Blueshirts. He has helped create an uptick in five-on-five offense for the Jets while he’s been on the ice.
Andrew Copp is a strong fit for the #NYR middle-six. He can play center and wing + bring the puck into the offensive zone with control and generate scoring chances. Given their cap situation next season, a rental clicks. pic.twitter.com/uubcwJugZh— Shayna (@hayyyshayyy) March 21, 2022
In addition to being a solid play-driver at even strength, the 27-year-old Copp can provide the Rangers with special teams depth as well. He has plenty of experience killing penalties; he had the third-most shorthanded minutes for the Jets this season with 138:27, or 2:28 per game. While the Jets’ PK shot suppression is no better than league average when Copp is deployed, it is far worse than league average when he is not deployed.
He also averages 2:25 of power-play ice time per game. Based on the Jets’ power-play shot metrics with Copp on the ice, he could give the Rangers’ second power-play unit a boost. He has picked up three goals and six assists on the power play this season.
Copp has been an NHL-regular with the Jets since 2015, but has emerged as more of a scoring threat over the past couple of seasons. He has tallied 13 goals and 22 assists in 56 games overall in 2021-22, after he put up 15 goals and 24 assists in the shortened 2020-21 season in which he played in 55 of 56 regular-season games. Both seasons equate to a pace of over 50 points in 82 games.
The Rangers have top-end, productive talent in Mika Zibanejad, Artemiy Panarin, Adam Fox, Chris Kreider, and Igor Shesterkin. They’ve needed depth up front, and Copp goes a long way in addressing that. Look for him to bolster the third line in a big way, with the ability to be an effective player higher up in the lineup if needed.
Copp comes with a salary cap hit of $3.64 million and is a pending unrestricted free agent, so he will, in all likelihood, be a rental for a Rangers team that has plenty of cap space now but will not next season and beyond.
Barron seemed to have a decent shot at a regular lineup spot in the bottom-six prior to the season, but only played sparingly with the Rangers even as they suffered some injuries up front. He never seemed to earn the full trust of head coach Gerard Gallant, and is now headed out of town. Barron plus two second-round picks represents might seem like a slightly steep price, but Copp will be a difference-maker for the Rangers this season, and the club managed to hold on to valuable defense prospects Nils Lundkvist and Zac Jones in addition to all their lineup regulars. The Rangers also retained forward prospect Vitali Kravtsov, who requested a trade earlier this season.