New York Rangers trade tiers for 2023 offseason

NHL: Stanley Cup Playoffs-New Jersey Devils at New York Rangers
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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.

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

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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.

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
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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.

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.

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

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