While the New York Rangers are getting their teeth kicked in by the Washington Capitals in — distractions or not — an inexcusably listless performance, general manager Chris Drury remains busy in moving pieces around to, presumably, prepare for acquiring Patrick Kane from the Chicago Blackhawks.
First, there was Jake Leschyshyn hitting waivers earlier today. Now, the team has traded Vitali Kravtsov to the Vancouver Canucks, in exchange for 24-year-old forward prospect William Lockwood — likely for AHL depth — and a 2026 seventh-round draft pick.
GM Patrik Allvin announced today that the Vancouver Canucks have acquired F Vitali Kravtsov from the New York Rangers in exchange for F William Lockwood and a 7th round pick in the 2026 NHL entry draft. pic.twitter.com/emb19y87q9— Vancouver Canucks (@Canucks) February 25, 2023
Lockwood — who has negligible NHL experience but has been reasonably productive at the AHL level — and the seventh-round pick are pretty insignificant pieces here. This return for Kravtsov, who the Rangers selected ninth overall in the 2018 NHL Draft, is certainly underwhelming. That he’s gone is not surprising, given his trade request and head coach Gerard Gallant’s refusal to find a consistent spot for him in the lineup. It’s a disappointing end for a player who, a few years ago, was supposed to be a core piece of the Rangers’ rebuild.
In the short term, though, the other thing the Rangers are gettin is a bit more cap space ahead next Friday’s trade deadline. That gives them more flexibility in their pursuit of Kane as they try to fit him under the cap. Interestingly, it now appears that Kravtsov will not be part of any package going to the Blackhawks for Kane. In any event, the Rangers will need a third team to retain 25% of Kane’s salary for a deal to work, so perhaps that relates to Vancouver’s involvement here. We shall see.
Expect to see some more dominos fall between now and 3:00 PM EST next Friday, March 3.