Don’t expect the Rangers to trade Kreider before the deadline
Since Taylor Hall was traded, the focus of the insiders has moved to Chris Kreider. From Darren Dreger to Elliotte Friedman, both have called the Rangers veteran the top target. Each respectively believes that Kreider will fetch a first round pick and a prospect, I just don’t expect anything to happen before the deadline this February.
The Rangers still need him
David Quinn has made it clear that this team is looking to make the playoffs. The Rangers are 5 points behind the Flyers for the last wild card spot, and if they are to get in, that’s their path. In order for them to do so, they will need Kreider to elevate his game even further.
Currently Kreider has 18 points and 8 goals in 33 games. At his current pace, he will be flirting with a 19 goal season. Kreider has never scored less than 20 goals in a season where he has played 75 games or more. For a player in his contract year, many expected increased production and thus far, he hasn’t produced.
Plus if you could trade him now, who is able to move up to play top 6 minutes? The answer is no one, since Vitali Kravtsov is no where near ready.
His Value Is Low Now
Taking into consideration his production output, and the fact only a few teams already consider themselves Cup contenders in December, no one is giving up a first rounder right now. The Rangers need to hold on to Kreider and wait closer to the deadline where more teams will know if they are making the playoffs or not.
The timing of the deadline and the availability of a power forward will start a small bidding war that should land the Rangers a 1st rounder and maybe even a conditional 2nd in the 2020 draft. That won’t happen without him picking up his offense just a tad, and a few teams like Boston, and Pittsburgh in the mix.