New York Rangers trade tiers for 2023 offseason

The New York Rangers offseason began way too soon after being eliminated at the hands of the New Jersey Devils in the first-round.

In the wake of that defeat, head coach Gerard Gallant lost his job and it’s very likely a player or two may be shipped out. The Blueshirts have limited cap space this summer in which to improve the roster via unrestricted free agency. That could lead to several trades.

Last summer, general manager Chris Drury let all his trade deadline rentals walk and UFA Ryan Strome in order to ink Vincent Trocheck. It looks like this time around the same will happen with Patrick Kane, Vladimir Tarasenko, and Niko Mikkola. The one exception is the possibility of keeping Tyler Motte around.

Let’s take a look at the Rangers trade tiers ranked into three categories: Untouchable, Probable, and Trade Bait.

Note: UFA’s will not be ranked.

New York Rangers trade tiers: Untouchables

The untouchables tier is pretty straight forward. These players are considered core pieces for next season. In some cases, the player’s contract has trade protection which automatically puts them into this tier.

  • Adam Fox (NMC in 2025-26)
  • Adam Sykora (ELC)
  • Artemi Panarin (NMC)
  • Ben Harpur
  • Braden Schneider (ELC)
  • Brennan Othmann (ELC)
  • Chris Kreider (NMC – Modified in 2024-2025)
  • Dylan Garand (ELC)
  • Filip Chytil
  • Igor Shesterkin (Modified No-Trade in 2023-24)
  • Jacob Trouba (NMC – Modified in 2024-2025)
  • Jimmy Vesey
  • Kaapo Kakko
  • Mika Zibanejad (NMC)
  • Ryan Lindgren
  • Vincent Trocheck (NMC – Modified in 2025-2026)
  • Will Cuylle (ELC)

There’s been a lot of upset fans calling for the Rangers to trade Panarin, but he has a full no-move clause and loves New York. Plus his $11.6 million cap hit for three more-seasons makes it impossible. If you’re looking for a buyout, don’t bother. Per CapFriendly, the savings would only be $666,667 for three seasons.

In previous iterations of this list, both Alexis Lafreniere and K’Andre Miller were in this tier. Given their RFA status and the disappointing finish for the team, they’ve now been moved into the Probable category.

Finally, I have several key prospects on this list and that’s Brennan Othmann, Will Cuylle, Adam Sykora, and Dylan Garand. Othmann has the potential to be a future top six-winger for the franchise in the near future. Meanwhile, Cuylle looks like he’ll be ready for a bottom-six role next season. Sykora and Garand need more time to develop in the AHL.

Probable for a trade

NHL: New York Rangers at Montreal Canadiens
Jan 5, 2023; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; New York Rangers forward Alexis Lafreniere (13) and Montreal Canadiens forward Josh Anderson (17) chase the puck during the third period at the Bell Centre. Mandatory Credit: Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports

This list below is comprised of players that Chris Drury may trade due to future cap considerations and some prospects that may be used to move up in the 2023 NHL Draft.

  • 2023 First-Round Pick
  • Alexis Lafrenière (RFA)
  • Bobby Trivigno (ELC)
  • Bryce McConnell-Barker (ELC)
  • Jake Leschyshyn
  • K’ Andre Miller (RFA)
  • Matthew Robertson (ELC)

When putting together this list, I struggled to add Lafreniere and Miller here.

Unfortunately, Lafreniere, had an abysmal postseason showing with no points. If he’s looking for a big raise coming off his ELC, it’s unlikely to happen. A trade has been rumored in the past and we may see it this summer if the return is right.

Same goes for Miller, who had an excellent regular season setting a career-high of 43 points. However, Miller posted just one assist in the playoffs and was pretty bad in his own zone leading to a number of unforced errors. Although the Rangers are unlikely to trade him, he certainly played himself out of a big contract.

Trade Bait – Likely to be traded

Barclay Goodrow
Jun 3, 2022; New York, New York, USA; New York Rangers center Barclay Goodrow (21) warms up before game two of the Eastern Conference Final of the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports

The Rangers list of players likely to be moved is minimal due to the offseason just getting started. As the NHL Draft and Free Agency get closer, more names could be added.

  • Barclay Goodrow (Modified No-Trade)
  • Libor Hajek (RFA w/Arbitration)
  • Zac Jones (RFA)

Heading into next season, the Rangers will be faced with a number of challenges to fill out the roster due to limited cap space. That’s why Goodrow, who has 4 years remaining on his deal with an AAV of $3.6 million and only a modified no-trade clause, is in this tier.

Defenseman Libor Hajek has been locked in this category for years and still seems to hang around. The Rangers will likely qualify him and move him at the draft.

Finally, Jones continues to impress at the AHL level and may have a legit chance to make it on the Rangers with Gallant no longer behind the bench. That’s because the former coach felt Jones was too small to play for him on the third pair. That being said, the Rangers also have Matthew Robertson blocking his path so a decision is coming on Jones’ future one way or another.