Arbitration dates and contract predictions for all 4 RFA’s
The arbitration dates have been released for the Rangers 4 RFA’s. Here are the scheduled arbitration hearings and some predictions.
Hearing Dates and Predictions for all 4 RFA’s
Dylan McIlrath – July 21
This is probably the one RFA that I think has the highest likelihood of getting to his arbitration hearing. McIlrath played in just 34 games last year and registered 4 points. He has played 37 games for the Blueshirts in total.
I expect the 24 year old defenseman will settle with the Rangers on a contract with an AAV of 1.2 – 1.5M for 2 seasons. If he gets to arbitration, I anticipate a reward between 900K -to 1.5M which the Rangers would accept.
Chris Kreider – July 22
As I write this, I believe Jeff Gorton and Chris Kreider are hammering out a deal that will be announced before the 22nd. CK20 is a 25 year old power forward with 35-40 goal potential and he should get a new deal similar to that of Kyle Palmieri in NJ.
Kreider has 61 goals in 264 regular season contests and has added 20 tallies in 64 playoff games. He is coming off back to back 21 goal seasons and should break the 20 goal threshold at the very least from here on out.
I expect the Rangers and Kreider to settle on a 5 year deal with an AAV between 4.25 to 4.75M.
Kevin Hayes – July 27
Hayes is an interesting case as he is coming off an inconsistent sophomore season. Still, he has great size, speed, vision and skill and he’s only 24. There’s a slim chance he may get to arbitration but I think it’s very unlikely.
I don’t see the Rangers offering anything more than a bridge contract. We should see Hayes sign before the 27th to the tune of 2 years around 2 – 2.5M
J.T. Miller – Aug. 2
Miller is probably the most intriguing of the 4 RFA’s because I’m not sure exactly how the Rangers see him. After being maddeningly inconsistent in his first 2 seasons (in limited action) with the Rangers, he had a memorable ECF against Tampa that carried over to this past year.
The 23 year old winger scored 22 times and had 43 points in 82 games. That ECF and this past season performance should be a nice cash in. If the Rangers have any sense, they will avoid a bridge deal with JT and go long term for anywhere between 4-6 years. That will come at a higher cost though.
If Miller is going to give up some of his prime years of unrestricted free agency it will take an AAV between 3.25 – 4M to do so. The Rangers would be wise to pay Miller who showed a rapid maturity rarely season in younger players these days. Should they sign him to a bridge deal for 2 years at around 2.5M they could regret that greatly when he turns into a 30 goal, 60 point player by age 25.
My final prediction, Miller gets a 5 year deal with an AAV of 3.5 – 3.75M.