New York Rangers trade tiers: Untouchable to Available for this season

new york rangers
Nov 5, 2021; Edmonton, Alberta, CAN; New York Rangers forward Filip Chytil (72) celebrates a first period goal against the Edmonton Oilers at Rogers Place. Mandatory Credit: Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Rangers are having a tremendous start to their season. They are 16-4-3 for 35 points which is tied for second most points in the team’s first 23 games.

With a .761 points percentage that’s good for second best in the NHL to only the Florida Panthers’ .771, this team already has a 97.7% chance of making the playoffs. That’s tops per MoneyPuck.

President and GM, Chris Drury is in no rush to make a trade but it has been reported that he is in the market for a mid-six forward. He also has his sights on a possible upgrade to his bottom pair defense and another backup goalie.

Of course, you have to give to get and that’s what this article is all about. I will rank every player on the roster and some in the minors to determine which will most likely be used to improve the team.

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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.

This list is larger than it has been in recent years because the team is close to contending for a Stanley Cup. 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.

Two prospects are on the untouchable list as well in Brennan Othmann and Braden Schneider. The organization is eyeing them as the future replacements for Chris Kreider and Jacob Trouba by the 2024 season.

If the deal is right – maybe

filip chytil
Nick Turchiaro-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.

  • Dryden Hunt
  • Filip Chytil
  • Julien Gauthier (RFA)
  • Lauri Pajuniemi (ELC)
  • Matthew Robertson (ELC)
  • Morgan Barron (ELC)
  • Nils Lundkvist (ELC)
  • Ryan Strome (UFA)
  • 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. Others like Ryan Strome and Julien Gauthier are here just because of the “maybe” factor. Both have contracts coming up and the Rangers need to decide what the best course of action is. Same for the injured Sammy Blais.

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
  • Alexandar Georgiev (RFA)
  • Greg McKegg
  • Jarred Tinordi
  • Keith Kinkaid (UFA)
  • Libor Hajek (RFA)
  • Patrik Nemeth (NTC – Modified)
  • Vitali Kravtsov (ELC)

There’s been plenty of talk that the Rangers are now looking to bring back Ryan Strome. With Kaapo Kakko also needing to be signed, that should mean the end of Alexandar Georgiev’s tenure with the Rangers either at the deadline or at the draft. Same for Patrik Nemeth, but unless the Rangers can upgrade his spot on defense, it will likely be a draft day trade.

The Rangers are probably going to buy a rental at the deadline, and the price for that is always a first round pick. Vitali Kravtsov will most likely be traded after his KHL season is complete.

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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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