New York Rangers updated trade tiers for 2022

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Nov 4, 2019; New York, NY, USA; Ottawa Senators goaltender Anders Nilsson (31) makes a glove save on a close in shot by New York Rangers center Ryan Strome (16) during the second period at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Rangers are currently tied for second overall in the NHL with 48 points. They are 22-8-4 and have many early doubters starting to discuss if they are Stanley Cup contenders.

With a .706 points percentage they are tied for 4th best in the NHL. The team already has a 97.3% chance of making the playoffs per MoneyPuck.

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.

Last December, 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.

  • Adam Fox
  • Alexis Lafrenière (ELC)
  • Artemi Panarin (NMC)
  • Barclay Goodrow (NMC- Modified)
  • Braden Schneider (ELC)
  • Brennan Othmann (ELC)
  • Chris Kreider (NMC)
  • Igor Shesterkin
  • Jacob Trouba (NMC)
  • K’Andre Miller (ELC)
  • 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 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.

Update: Ryan Strome moves into this tier thanks to reports that at least preliminary discussions have occurred with the Rangers. This is one where the Rangers being buyers at the deadline would be better off keeping the type of rental they’re looking for in a trade.

If the deal is right – maybe

alexandar georgiev rangers
Jan 3, 2022; New York, New York, USA; New York Rangers goaltender Alexandar Georgiev (40) makes a glove save against the Edmonton Oilers during the third period at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Schneidler-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)
  • 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. Others like 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.

Update: Alexandar Georgiev moves up into this tier because of his stellar play. It is also unlikely that Drury will het true value for him at the deadline. Since he is an RFA, a draft day deal is starting to make more sense. The Rangers will not be able to afford Georgiev as backup for next season once Fox and Zibanejad’s extension kick in.

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)
  • Vitali Kravtsov (ELC)

Update: The play of Zac Jones in recent games could spell the end for Patrik Nemeth. He has a modified no trade clause, and the Blueshirts will be looking to shed his $2.5M cap hit.

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 if he’s a sweeter in a bigger deal. I expect Kravtsov to be moved by the draft.

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