New York Rangers add speed to bottom six in trade for Frank Vatrano

The New York Rangers got to work on improving their bottom six by acquiring Frank Vatrano from the Florida Panthers for a 2022 fourth-round draft pick. It should be noted that the pick is conditional, and will be the Rangers second pick in that round (NY has their own and Winnipeg’s).

A native of Massachusetts, he’s coming off a game on Tuesday where he scored twice in a 3-2 win for the Panthers over the Sharks. This included the game-winner 1:11 into the OT session.

This season, he has 19 points (10 goals, nine assists) through 49 games this season, the fifth time he has scored double-digit goals in a season.

Vatrano, who turned 28 on Monday, has 157 points (93 goals, 64 assists) in 379 career games with the Boston Bruins (2015-18) and Panthers. Boston traded him to Florida on Feb. 22, 2018 for a third-round pick in 2018.

New York Rangers trade for Frank Vatrano

rangers trade frank vatrano
Feb 1, 2022; New York, New York, USA; New York Rangers goaltender Igor Shesterkin (31) makes a save in front of Florida Panthers center Frank Vatrano (77) during the first period at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Per the team’s press release:

New York Rangers President and General Manager Chris Drury announced today that the team has acquired forward Frank Vatrano from the Florida Panthers in exchange for a fourth-round pick in the 2022 NHL Entry Draft. The fourth-round pick Florida receives from the Rangers will be the later of the two fourth-round selections the Rangers own (either their own fourth-round pick or Winnipeg’s fourth-round pick).

Vatrano is from East Longmeadow, Massachusetts. Last season with the Panthers, he led the team with a career-high 7 game winners that included 3 OT goals and 10 tallies in the third period. This is the type of resiliency that should fit right in with this Rangers team.

He was originally signed as an undrafted free agent by Boston on March 13, 2015.

“After almost five seasons with the club, we want to thank Frank for his professionalism and compete,” Panthers general manager Bill Zito said. “His team-first approach was always appreciated, and we wish him all the best moving forward.”

NHL.com

Vatrano brings some speed, grit, and scoring

Vatrano will likely slot on the Rangers third line on the left wing with Filip Chytil. This will move Barclay Goodrow either to the right wing on that line or possibly to the fourth line with Greg McKegg and Ryan Reaves. I would bet that Julien Gauthier is the most likely scratch.

The winger will be a UFA at the end of the season. He’s coming off a deal that paid $2.533 million against the cap.

Florida likely made this move to clear cap space to go after bigger fish. They are suitors for Claude Giroux and Ben Chiarot among others.

NHL Rumors

Ben Chiarot deal on the horizon? And will Jakob Chychrun get traded despite the injury? Read more here.

–Field Level Media contributed to this report