Do J.T. Miller or Jake DeBrusk make sense for the New York Rangers?

Two names have emerged over the last few weeks in the NHL Rumor Mill. Vancouver Canucks forward, J.T. Miller and Boston Bruins forward Jake DeBrusk.

Each player would help the New York Rangers this season if acquired. However, both come with their own set of pros and cons.

Let’s look at them in closer detail

Rangers trade target: J.T. Miller

First off, I’ve been on record that J.T. Miller was the star the Rangers let foolishly get away when he was added in the Ryan McDonagh blockbuster with Tampa.

Miller, 28, has one more year left on his deal worth $5.25M before becoming a UFA. He’s also been extremely productive with 20 points in 23 games for Vancouver this season. Since joining the Canucks he has 138 points in 145 contests.

He is a left handed shot, but can play any forward position.

Larry Brooks of the NY Post notes that the Rangers face a decision regarding Ryan Strome and that Miller could be a potential center replacement.

The Rangers would certainly be interested in a reunion with the player they selected 15th overall in that 2011 draft, depending on the price demanded in return. He could slide onto the right side with either Kreider and Zibanejad or with Panarin or Strome. He could also go into the middle if needed.

NY Post (subscription required)

Rangers trade target: Jake DeBrusk

new york rangers rumors
Mar 11, 2021; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Boston Bruins left wing Jake DeBrusk (74) controls the puck during the third period against the New York Rangers at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

The 25 year-old DeBrusk only has three goals and six points in 17 games this season. A former first round pick in the 2015 Draft, he has struggled since last season where he picked up 14 points in 41 games for the Bruins.

Reports came out late yesterday that he’s looking for a trade out of Boston.

“Spoke with Rick Valette today, agent for Jake DeBrusk, he confirmed he asked for a trade over the weekend. It’s felt a change of scenery moving forward would be beneficial,” TSN’s Ryan Rishaug reported yesterday. “Debrusk will remain with the team while the Bruins try and facilitate the request.”

DeBrusk is making $3.675M and will be an RFA this summer. He’s a left-handed shot and plays left wing for the Bruins.

Miller or DeBrusk

DeBrusk is young and plays a rugged hard game that fits what Chris Drury is trying to build. The problem is his game has slipped since last season. In his first three season with the Bruins he registered 120 points in 203 games. That’s dipped to just 20 points in his last 58.

Meanwhile, Miller has only gotten better since being traded out of NY. He’s a power forward with skill and has grown into a leader for the Canucks. His ability to be used at any forward position is also invaluable, along with being able to play in all situations.

If I am Chris Drury, I am going after Miller. His contract of $5.25M will fix next year as well. If Ryan Strome is no longer here, Filip Chytil will need to step up and claim the 2C spot. Should he fail to do so, Miller would be a suitable fit.

Plus it keeps the Rangers in a good position to sign Kaapo Kakko and avoid any potential offer sheets.

NHL Rumors Update

Evander Kane available at half salary retained, and what’s next for the Habs? Read about it here.