New York Rangers GM Chris Drury scores big marks for NHL Trade Deadline moves

The New York Rangers made four total trades on Monday before the NHL Trade Deadline expired at 3 PM ET. In total, President and General Manager Chris Drury made six moves that started with the acquisition of winger Frankie Vatrano on March 16.

Let’s take a look at all the recent Rangers transactions:

  • Andrew Copp and a 2023 sixth-round pick for Morgan Barron, (2) conditional second-round picks in 2022, and a 2023 fifth-round pick
  • Tyler Motte for a 2023 fourth-round pick
  • Justin Braun for a 2023 third-round pick
  • Nick Merkley for Anthony Bitetto
  • Signed NCAA free agent defenseman Brandon Scanlin
  • Frankie Vatrano for a 2022 fourth-round pick

Chris Drury earns high marks

While many contenders were chasing the biggest fish in the pond and using as much bait as possible to get them, Chris Drury remained focused on addressing his team’s need for a little more scoring and depth.

The rookie GM played the deadline like a seasoned veteran showing a level of patience rarely seen these days. In the final hour of trading, Drury backed out of trying to acquire prime target Rickard Rakell. The Penguins gave up two roster players in Zach Anson-Reese and Dominik Simon, plus a prospect goalie and a second-round pick to land him.

new york rangers
Nov 5, 2019; Winnipeg, Manitoba, CAN; Winnipeg Jets forward Andrew Copp (9) shoots the puck past New Jersey Devils defenseman Damon Severson (28) during the third period of the game at Bell MTS Place. Mandatory Credit: Terrence Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Instead, Drury acquired versatile and comparable forward Andrew Copp, who can also help the PK. In doing so, he gave up one decent prospect in Morgan Barron and two conditional second round picks. One of those picks can become a first if the Rangers make it to the Eastern Conference Final and Copp plays 50% of those games.

From there, the Rangers added more center depth with Tyler Motte and defense depth with Justin Braun for mid-round picks. These moves only made the acquisition of Frankie Vatrano even better, since they were part of a larger mosaic to improve speed, scoring, and grit for a tough stretch run.

The former Wolf Pack GM didn’t forget his AHL team by acquiring Nick Merkley for Anthony Bitetto. Merkley will slot in where Barron was and freshly signed NCAA free agent Brandon Scanlin will take Bitetto’s place.

Just an incredible job by Drury to bolster his team for the playoffs and keep his biggest trade chips for the summer. As rumors persist that Patrick Kane and Mark Scheifele may be on the block in the offseason, the Rangers have all their blue-chip prospects to make a major deal.

“There was a certain level of comfort we were all at as a staff and we’re excited to acquire the players we did for the assets that we gave up,” Drury said in his first conference call with reporters since the season started. “It just seemed like the right deals to make for the right assets.”

NY Post

NHL Trade Deadline Deals

Recap all the NHL Trades and Signings from NHL Trade Deadline Day Here.