New York Rangers trade tiers post All-Star Break

The New York Rangers are currently tied for fourth overall in the NHL with 64 points. They are 30-13-4 and still have plenty of doubters. Some believe the team is nothing more than Igor Shesterkin despite Chris Kreider leading the NHL in both goals (33) and power play goals (17).

Also ignored are the number of Rangers’ comeback wins (10), Adam Fox being tied for scoring among defensemen despite being injured for a week prior to the break, and much more.

Per the website MoneyPuck, the New York Rangers chances of making the playoffs has jumped up since last month from 92.6% to 96.5%. Some additional odds have them a 4.1% to win the Metro, and a .9% chance of winning the Cup.

President and GM, Chris Drury has been scouring the trade market for months but he’s in no rush to make a trade for a mid-six forward or a veteran bottom pair defenseman.

In January, I ranked every player on the roster and some in the minors to determine which will most likely be used to improve the team. Here’s the latest update.

New York Rangers trade tiers: Untouchables

The untouchables tier is pretty straight forward. These players are considered the foundation of the team this season, and many go well beyond that. It also considers if a player is considered more valuable to the team as its own rental versus simply trading them for a draft pick.

  • Adam Fox
  • Alexis Lafreni√®re (ELC)
  • Artemi Panarin (NMC)
  • Barclay Goodrow (NMC- Modified)
  • Braden Schneider (ELC)
  • Brennan Othmann (ELC)
  • Chris Kreider (NMC)
  • Igor Shesterkin
  • Jacob Trouba (NMC)
  • Kaapo Kakko (RFA)
  • Kevin Rooney (UFA)
  • Mika Zibanejad (NMC)
  • Ryan Lindgren
  • Ryan Reaves
  • Ryan Strome (UFA)

This list is larger than it has been in recent years because the team is now a playoff team and looking for a Stanley Cup run. A prime example of a player that would be on the block if the Rangers were a borderline playoff team is pending UFA Kevin Rooney. Even if the team doesn’t bring him back, he’s more valuable in a playoff run than for a mid-to-late draft pick.

Update: Ryan Strome is now locked in as an untouchable after a NY Post report stated that the Rangers will not trade him at the deadline even if an extension is not in place.

If the deal is right these players can be had

Nils Lundkvist trade
Oct 14, 2021; New York, New York, USA; New York Rangers defenseman Nils Lundkvist (27) shoots the puck against the Dallas Stars during the first period at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

The flat-cap era has made having a strong pipe line of prospects even more important. This season, you will see the “maybe” list is filled with them.

  • Alexandar Georgiev (RFA)
  • Dryden Hunt
  • Filip Chytil
  • Julien Gauthier (RFA)
  • K’Andre Miller (ELC)
  • Lauri Pajuniemi (ELC)
  • Matthew Robertson (ELC)
  • Morgan Barron (ELC)
  • Nils Lundkvist (ELC)
  • Sammy Blais (RFA)
  • Will Cuylle (ELC)
  • Zac Jones (ELC)

This is always the most interesting tier to assemble. With the Rangers likely being buyers at the NHL Trade Deadline for the first time in a long while, it may take someone from this group to make a big move.

Players like Filip Chytil, Nils Lundkvist, Morgan Barron, and Zac Jones qualify best for the “if the offer is right” aspect of this grouping.

Update: Alexandar Georgiev is still an intriguing trade piece here. Although it seems more apparent that the team will ride him as Shesterkin’s backup until the season ends. Nils Lundkvist remains here as well, but when this list is updated again just prior to the NHL Trade Deadline he may move to the trade bait list. One change is the addition of K’Andre Miller being moved down from the untouchable section. He is only here if the Rangers are still trying to make a play to land Jakob Chychrun.

Trade Bait – Likely to be traded

In this cluster of players, we have some interesting names that the Rangers would deem “available”. Some players here are most likely as good as gone with Vitali Kravtsov leading the way.

  • 1st round pick in the 2022 Draft
  • Greg McKegg
  • Jarred Tinordi
  • Keith Kinkaid (UFA)
  • Libor Hajek (RFA)
  • Patrik Nemeth (NTC – Modified)
  • Tarmo Reunanen (ELC)
  • Vitali Kravtsov (ELC)

Update: This list remains virtually the same, even though I considered moving Greg McKegg up a level. Let’s face it, Gerard Gallant likes him and he’s more valuable to the team as a cheap bottom six option than get a 6th or 7th round pick. I did add Tarmo Reunanen since hearing some teams were interested.

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