New York Rangers trade tiers: Who gets moved at the deadline?

vitali kravtsov new york rangers
Dec 27, 2022; New York, New York, USA; New York Rangers right wing Vitali Kravtsov (74) battles with Washington Capitals left wing Alex Ovechkin (8) during the first period at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Rangers have entered the All-Star Break with a solid record and a decent grip on third place in the Metropolitan Division.

As we they await the results of today’s Capitals game against the Maple Leafs, the Blueshirts hold a four point lead over fourth place Washington. That could be cut down to two with a Caps win, but New York will hold a three game advantage after Sunday’s action.

For this article, I will rank the current roster, picks and prospects into three categories: Untouchable, Probable, and Trade Bait.

This could very well change depending on injuries from now until the NHL Trade Deadline for March 3, 2023.

New York Rangers trade tiers: Untouchables

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

This list has 7 players with either a full no-move clause or a modified no-trade for this season. In addition, they’re considered important components needed for a Cup run.

Also named here are young players like Alexis Lafreniere, K’Andre Miller, Filip Chytil, Kaapo Kakko, Ryan Lindgren, and Braden Schneider. All can be traded, but they’re the future of the franchise and it’s highly unlikely they’ll be moved at this deadline or this offseason.

Finally, I have two prospects on this list and that’s Brennan Othmann and Will Cuylle. 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.

Probable for a trade

New York Rangers
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

This list below is comprised of players that Chris Drury may move due to future cap considerations like Julien Gauthier, and some prospects that can be used to sweeten trade deadline deals.

This is usually the hardest and most intriguing tier to assemble. Insiders are pretty steadfast that the Rangers will be going hard for Patrick Kane. Should they fail to land him Vladimir Tarasenko or James van Riemsdyk may be plan B options.

If cap space permits, the Rangers will also look to add some depth pieces for a long postseason run and since there’s only so many first-round picks to go around, they may need to dip into this pool.

Trade Bait – Likely to be traded

New York Rangers Vitali Kravtsov
Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports

The Rangers likely to be traded list has grown since we last published this list in November. It still includes their own first round pick in 2023, and the one that the Dallas Stars gave them (w/conditions) in the Nils Lundkvist deal.

  • 2023 1st Round Pick (2)
  • Libor Hajek (RFA w/Arbitration)
  • Ryan Carpenter (UFA)
  • Sammy Blais (UFA)
  • Vitali Kravtsov (RFA w/Arbitration)
  • Zac Jones (RFA)

Defenseman Libor Hajek has been in this spot for two seasons and even if he’s not moved, he’ll likely be elsewhere next season. Just added are Ryan Carpenter and Sammy Blais, although I doubt there will be much interest in these pending UFAs.

The most obvious trade piece is winger Vitali Kravtsov. He’s the 9th overall pick in the 2018 draft and has good upside. I would suspect that he would need to be attached to a first-round pick to land either Kane or Tarasenko. Plus the Rangers will want those teams to eat 50% of the cap hit which always requires an incentive piece.

Zac Jones has now moved to this list after the signing of Ben Harpur to a two-year extension and Matthew Robertson likely ready to compete for a regular lineup spot next season. Jones is going to want an opportunity elsewhere and he’s a logical trade chip.

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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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