New York Rangers trade tiers 1 week from NHL Trade Deadline

NHL: New York Rangers at Chicago Blackhawks
Daniel Bartel-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Rangers have two more games to play before the NHL Trade Deadline set for March 8th at 3 pm ET next Friday.

Over the last week, GM Chris Drury has sent his scouts out in droves to watch deadline sellers like the Anaheim Ducks, San Jose Sharks, and Arizona Coyotes play. To spice things up about a possible reunion with winger Frank Vatrano or acquiring veteran center Adam Henrique, Ducks GM Pat Verbeek was at the Garden for the Rangers 4-1 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets.

So, who was he there to watch play?

This presents another great opportunity to update the New York Rangers Trade Tiers for last time this season. Let’s take a look at how the roster players and some key prospects are ranked into three categories: Not Going Anywhere, Probable, and Trade Bait.

Note: Players on their Entry-Level contracts, and those that have trade protections are indicated in parentheses. Additionally, their contractual status at the end of the year is also noted.


New York Rangers trade tiers: Trade Bait

NHL: Preseason-New York Rangers at Boston Bruins
Eric Canha-USA TODAY Sports Credit: Eric Canha-USA TODAY Sports

The Rangers list of players likely to be traded has grown exponentially as we are just one week away from the trade deadline.

Reports that owner James Dolan wanted to hold on to this year’s first-round pick because the NHL Draft is being held at the MSG Sphere in Vegas, appears not to be the case. However, if the Blueshirts can use their second-round pick plus a prospect in order to keep it, they’ll look to do that.

Here’s the Rangers final trade bait list:

Previously, Kaapo Kakko was sitting here as Drury’s big trade chip after rumors surfaced they were taking calls on him. However, with the season-ending injury to Blake Wheeler, trading from an area of weakness isn’t a wise move.

Considering that the Rangers have multiple holes to fill (top-six winger, third-line center, depth defense), their first-round pick should be firmly in this category. In addition, prospect defenseman Zac Jones could also be moved for some veteran depth on the blue line.

The biggest change to this tier is the list of potential prospects that have become available, including Adam Sykora, who I had as untouchable in previous editions. A team’s window to win the Stanley Cup is small, and with the emergence of Gabe Perreault as another top wing prospect, Sykora is expendable.

“There’s no comparison winning in New York City compared to anywhere else,” ‘94 general manager Neil Smith told Forever Blueshirts. “The sheer magnitude of winning in New York is just an exhilaration like nowhere else.”

Probable For a Trade

This list below is comprised of players that we consider on the bubble and only if the deal is right. In some cases, it could also be for salary cap purposes.

Let’s starts here with Kakko and Cuylle. I seriously doubt either will be moved, but a blockbuster deal involving multiple players can’t be ruled out. I mean, did Pat Verbeek fly out from Anaheim to New York to watch Adam Edstrom or Matthew Rempe play? Maybe, but due to the number of players on the Rangers with no-trade clauses, you have to expand the list of potential targets.

Meanwhile, there’s been many suggestions that McConnel-Barker is definitely trade bait. However, the Rangers have very few promising prospects at center, so I believe he belongs in the probable category.

Finally, the Blueshirts know they have a great chance to win it all. If they need more cap space to improve their top-nine, Barclay Goodrow could be shipped out in order to make it happen.

Not Going Anywhere

This tier is pretty straight forward. These players are considered key pieces for this season and/or beyond. In some cases, the player’s contract has trade protection which automatically places them here. Any player on LTIR is also in this category.

As you can expect, whenever teams talk to the Rangers about a trade, they ask for Othmann and Perreault. To date, Drury has told everyone no with regard to his top prospects in the organization.

New York has a great chance to end another long Stanley Cup drought going on 30 years this summer. What will the Rangers do to give them the best possible chance to win? We will find out soon.

Anthony Scultore is the founder of Forever Blueshirts and has been covering the New York Rangers and the NHL... More about Anthony Scultore

Mentioned in this article:

More About: