clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

New York Rangers Trade Deadline Wish List

It is everyone’s favorite time of the year: reckless trade speculation and rumormongering season!

Washington Capitals v Philadelphia Flyers Photo by Len Redkoles/NHLI via Getty Images

It is March which means that spring is taking its first, fitful steps to clogging our sinuses and making life miserable for everyone with seasonal allergies, baseball is getting into...oh....wait...Anyway, the calendar turning to the month of the Irish also means we are one step closer to the March 21st NHL Trade Deadline. As of this writing we are just three short weeks away from the deadline and the New York Rangers are in a prime position to do something that can seriously bolster their roster, be absolutely crazy, or most likely, both!

With all of this in mind, I decided to put together a wish list of players that I think could seriously help the Rangers take the next step into being a viable contender and also be incredibly fun to watch (which is, honestly, the most important goal here). A couple of caveats though; I will not speculate on actual trade packages since I’ve found that trying to figure out the minds of NHL General Managers is something like trying to figure out an M.C. Escher painting; a brain-taxing effort that will leave you even more confused than before and with a serious headache. Also, not every player I name here has been reported as publicly “available” because that would be boring. I did do my best, however, to keep things relatively reasonable. Finally, the players are listed in what I am calling “tiers of believability” basically how realistic I think it is for Chris Drury to acquire said player. Let’s get started!

A Boy Can Dream Tier

Jared McCann

Seattle Kraken v Winnipeg Jets Photo by Jonathan Kozub/NHLI via Getty Images

Position: C/LW

Shoots: Left

Height: 6’1

Weight: 185lbs

Age: 25

Contract: $2.94mil x 1 year, RFA at the end of this season

Production: 21-12-33 in 48 games

The New York Rangers have a glaring, self-inflicted, need for a top-six winger at the trade deadline while also needing to address the center depth long-term in the event that Ryan Strome decides to test the free agent market. Jared McCann and fill both of these voids in one fell swoop. The 25 year old forward has been a reliably solid top-six forward for the nascent Seattle Kraken this season and with the Kraken on the outside of the Pacific playoff picture in their inaugural season, the league’s newest team could be sellers at the deadline. The biggest reason that the Rangers should acquire McCann is also why Seattle is not moving him; McCann is just 25 years old and is a player that Kraken GM Ron Francis will look to build around, not sell off for assets. However, in the highly unlikely event that McCann becomes available, the Rangers should be very interested in bringing him to Manhattan.

Jakob Chychrun

Vegas Golden Knights v Arizona Coyotes Photo by Norm Hall/NHLI via Getty Images

Position: LD

Shoots: Left

Height: 6’2

Weight: 210lbs

Age: 23

Contract: $4.6mil x 4 years

Production: 3-12-15 in 42 games

While Chris Drury’s primary focus should be on addressing the forward corps, there is a need on the left side of the defense with the likes of Libor Hajek, Patrik Nemeth, and Jarred Tinordi all making us question what it means to be an NHL defenseman as the 3 LD. Enter Jakob Chychrun. When evaluating Chychrun it is important to keep in mind that he currently plays for an organization that serves more as the NHL’s money laundering front than it does an actual hockey team. While the production and underlying numbers might not pass a first glance this season, Chychrun is still just 23 years old and has all the skills you want in a modern, high-end defender. A deal for Chychrun could solidify the Rangers defense corps with at least four high-end players all under the age of 25. The only stumbling block would be, as it always is, the acquisition cost in terms of assets and the level of Rangers’ interest in the player.

Filip Forsberg

2022 Navy Federal Credit Union NHL Stadium Series - Tampa Bay Lightning v Nashville Predators Photo by Brian Babineau/NHLI via Getty Images

Position: LW

Shoots: Right

Height: 6’1

Weight: 205lbs

Age: 27

Contract: $6mil x 1 year, UFA after this season

Production: 27-18-45 in 40 games

Do the Rangers need another left wing? No. Do they need another right handed shooter? Absolutely not. Should the Rangers be involved in any market that might exist for Filip Forsberg? Yes, a thousand times yes. Filip Forsberg is one of those players that you trade for or sign and then make it work. Also, keep in mind that I am basing this on just one report that Forsberg might be shopped, for some ethereal reason, by a Nashville team that is currently still in the playoff picture. Still...Filip Forsberg on Broadway. Make. It. So.

It Will Be Costly But Worth It Tier

Tomas Hertl

San Jose Sharks v Anaheim Ducks Photo by Debora Robinson/NHLI via Getty Images

Position: C/RW

Shoots: Left

Height: 6’2

Weight: 215lbs

Age: 28

Contract: $5.25mil x 1 year with a Modified No-Trade Clause, UFA after this season.

Production: 22-20-42 in 54 games

It feels like it was just yesterday that Tomas Hertl retired Marty Biron with a four goal performance against the New York Rangers back in 2013. If there were ever a player that ticked all the boxes for the Rangers’ needs at the trade deadline, it is the 28 year-old Czech forward; offensively skilled? Check. Positional flexibilty? He plays both Center AND Right Wing so check and check. Fun as hell? Oh yeah, Hertl’s style oozes fun. As of this writing, the San Jose Sharks have a 1.4% chance of making the playoffs (via MoneyPuck.com) and Hertl’s expiring contract will make him one of the more valuable players available at the trade deadline. Hertl does have a Modified-No Trade Clause and he can veto any trade to three teams (though it is still early to see if the Rangers are or are not on that list). It might require a larger trade package, but the Rangers should make every attempt to add Hertl to their lineup later this month.

Claude Giroux

St Louis Blues v Philadelphia Flyers Photo by Len Redkoles/NHLI via Getty Images

Position: C/RW

Shoots: Right

Height: 5’11

Weight: 185lbs

Age: 34

Contract: $8.275mil x 1 year with a full No Movement Clause, UFA after this season.

Production: 17-22-39 in 50 games played

Seemingly the belle of the Trade Deadline ball, Claude Giroux is going to draw a LOT of attention from contending teams and the Rangers should be one of them. Much like Tomas Hertl, Giroux is everything the Rangers should be looking for at the trade deadline. While he is past his prime, the 34 year-old forward is still having a strong impact on both sides of the puck for a Flyers team that is still trying to rid itself of that AV aftertaste. While the Rangers should absolutely target Giroux, there is the prickly aspect of his No Movement Clause. Reportedly, Giroux is willing to waive that clause for a contending team but, after years of battling against the Rangers, would he consider crossing the Hudson to play on Broadway? Even if Giroux is willing to come to New York, there is the expectant increase in price in Philadelphia and New York doing business together. Still, he would be well worth the price paid.

The Sensible Move Tier

Artturi Lehkonen

Montreal Canadiens v New York Islanders Photo by Christopher Pasatieri/NHLI via Getty Images

Position: LW/RW

Shoots: Left

Height: 6’0

Weight: 180lbs

Age: 26

Contract: $2.3mil x 1 year, RFA after this season.

Production: 10-13-23 in 51 games played.

Artturi Lehkonen might not bring in the headlines but the 26 year-old Finnish winger could be the best value move the Rangers could make at the deadline. Lehkonen is a versatile forward that could play on either wing and plays a very strong defensive game while still able to push play in the right direction. While the phrase “can play up and down the lineup” has lost all semblance of meaning, Lehkonen can easily slot into any top-9 wing role and supplement his linemates’ skill. On top of the Swiss Army Knife style, Lehkonen has an extremely manageable cap hit and the asset cost should not be as high as some of the other names on this list.

Mark Giordano

New York Islanders v Seattle Kraken Photo by Christopher Mast/NHLI via Getty Images

Position: LD

Shoots: Left

Height: 6’1

Weight: 200lbs

Age: 38

Contract: $6.75mil x 1 year with a Modified No-Trade Clause, UFA after this season.

Production: 6-17-23 in 49 games played

The elder statesman of the NHL’s newest team, Mark Giordano, much like Claude Giroux, is entering the back end of his career on an expiring contract and could be on the move to a contender. The left-shot defenseman may not be the same high-impact player he was in Calgary but Giordano is still a solid defender that can handle the 3LD role on Broadway. Giordano has gained a reputation as a veteran leader, being named the 1st captain in Seattle Kraken history, and could serve as an established support for a younger defenseman like Braden Schneider or Zac Jones. There were rumblings and rumors that the Rangers were interested in Giordano during the offseason but they never came to fruition, maybe Chris Drury can finish the work he started back in June now.