3 New York Rangers Who Could Be Moved at the Trade Deadline

The Hockey Writers

The New York Rangers are on a seven-game winning streak and sit atop the Metropolitan Division. They are pulling out these wins with injuries hampering the depth of the lineup. Filip Chytil and Blake Wheeler are out for the season, and now, the Rangers will have to make some trades to help replenish the depth and fill holes in the lineup.

The Hockey Writers Substack banner New York Rangers

While it is more likely that the team moves picks and prospects to bring in players, they may need to move out some roster players to get a deal done. While general manager Chris Drury hasn’t had to do that in years past, he is now working with depleted draft capital and a top-heavy prospect pool that he won’t touch for a rental. Here are three potential players that the Rangers could move from the roster to get trades done ahead of the 2024 Trade Deadline.

Kaapo Kakko

It might not be a smart move, but there are rumors that the Rangers have been listening to offers on Kaapo Kakko, who was drafted second overall in 2019. After a career season in 2022-23, with 18 goals and 40 points in 82 games, this season has been a down year, with only six goals and 10 points in 34 games – he did miss 21 games with injury, but he wasn’t producing before he was injured.

His lack of offense has him in trade talks, and the Rangers could consider moving him, but it won’t be for a rental. If Drury wants to move a player who will be cheap to re-sign this summer, he will need a player with term on their deal in return. One player who has been connected to the Rangers is Frank Vatrano of the Anaheim Ducks. He is having a career season and is signed through 2024-25. Adding Vatrano might make sense for the Rangers, but if the deal isn’t what Drury is looking for, he will hold onto him and keep him as a piece for the team going forward.

Kaapo Kakko New York Rangers
Kaapo Kakko, New York Rangers (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

While his offense might be taking a hit this season, Kakko brings other aspects to the Rangers that other players don’t. He is an underrated puck possession player, he is great with the puck along the boards, and it is very hard to knock the puck off his stick. He is a good defensive player, and his line with Johnny Brodzinski and Will Cuylle has been the team’s best over the past few weeks. So, while he might not be the player many thought he would be back in 2019, he is still good enough to help the Rangers make a deep run in the playoffs. But, there is always a chance that Drury gets an offer he can’t refuse for Kakko.

Zac Jones

Since joining the Rangers during the 2021 COVID-19 shortened season, Zac Jones has never gotten the time to play with the Rangers on a consistent basis. His 17 games this season are the most he’s played in one campaign with the Rangers. But the only stretch when he played consistently was when Adam Fox was injured for 10 games earlier this season. Other than that, he comes in for a game or two when a player is hurt or suspended. With six other defensemen in front of him, Jones will never get a chance to play regularly. There are other teams out there that would take a chance on the 23-year-old and where he would get consistent playing time. That’s a reason why the Rangers could move him for another asset.

Related: New York Rangers Roundtable: 2024 Trade Deadline

Jones is in a tough situation. The team won’t waive him because they would likely lose him for nothing, so he has become the seventh defenseman who sits in the press box most games. A trade would be good for both sides. The Rangers would get a player who could play every night, while Jones would get a fresh start with a new team. He has played well when he has had to step in, but he will never be a top-six defenseman team. He could be moved to bring in a player that makes the team better for a playoff run. He is the most likely roster player to be moved, so keep an eye on his name as we approach the deadline.

Barclay Goodrow

On the other hand, of these three players, Barclay Goodrow is the least likely to be moved, but it would be best for the Rangers to trade him as soon as possible. Now playing on the fourth line, his contract has become an anchor for the team and has cost them the opportunity to keep other players in the past. He has three more years on his deal after this one, at almost $3.7 million per season. That is way too much for a player, who has one goal in 53 games this season.

He was one of the first players brought in by Drury, because at the time, the team wanted to get tougher, and he had won two Stanley Cups with the Tampa Bay Lightning. His contract was one of Drury’s first big mistakes and one of the reasons why the Rangers traded Pavel Buchnevich – a move the team still hasn’t recovered from. If there is any chance they can move his salary by the deadline, they should do it.

Barclay Goodrow New York Rangers
Barclay Goodrow, New York Rangers (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

Unfortunately, he is unlikely to be dealt for a few reasons. One reason is that head coach Peter Laviolette loves what he brings to the team, and he can use him against the opposition’s top players and on the penalty kill. Another reason is because of his contract that includes a 15-team no-trade list. So, he has some control over where he goes, and it’s not likely that he would want to be traded to a rebuilding team or a team below the Rangers in the standings – he also just had a baby a few months ago, so he won’t want to uproot his family.

The Rangers are going to have to make moves, and soon. The Trade Deadline is approaching very quickly, and they are going to want to have the new players here sooner rather than later so they can get adjusted to playing with their new team. The three names above are just potential names that could be moved in trades. There is no guarantee that any of these names or any player on the current roster will be moved. It will be up to Drury to see what is best for the team now and for the future, and if that means moving roster player, then so be it.

PHP Code Snippets Powered By : XYZScripts.com