Assessing recent Rangers’ trades ahead of 2024 deadline

NHL: New York Rangers at Carolina Hurricanes
James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

The 2023-24 New York Rangers are 14 wins away from tying the franchise record (53), while maintaining their hold on the top spot in the Metropolitan Division and challenging for their first Stanley Cup in 30 seasons. As a top team in the NHL, the Rangers likely will be active players at the upcoming trade deadline March 8.

Even though general manager Chris Drury would rather not part with the Rangers’ first-round pick in the 2024 draft to boost the lineup, they are missing a top-six winger, with Blake Wheeler out for the season. Considering New York has been active in the trade market over the past three seasons and fell short of winning the Cup, maybe it can get a different result by doing less.

Since 2021, the Rangers have made a total of 24 trades and continue looking for the pieces to bring the Stanley Cup back to Broadway for the first time since 1994. Of course, they have been on the winning end of some deals, while acquiring some players who didn’t cut it in New York, like the injured Patrick Kane last season.

Let’s look back at each trade since 2021 and determine how those players contributed to the season’s final result.

Related: Frank Vatrano near top of Rangers’ wish list ahead of trade deadline

2021-22 Season (11 Trades)

NHL: Colorado Avalanche at New York Rangers
Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports Credit: Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports

Pre-season transactions

Jul. 17, 2021: New York trades 2022 seventh-round pick (#223 Dyllan Gill) to Tampa Bay Lightning in exchange for Barclay Goodrow.

Jul. 17, 2021: New York trades Brett Howden to the Vegas Golden Knights for Nick DeSimone and a 2023 fourth-round pick (#111 Noah Laba).

Jul. 23, 2021: New York trades Pavel Buchnevich to the St. Louis Blues in exchange for Sammy Blais and a 2022 second-round pick (#55 Elias Salomonsson).

Jul. 24, 2021: New York receives a 2021 third-round pick (#75 Ryder Korczak) from the Washington Capitals for a 2021 third-round pick (#80 Brent Johnson) and a 2021 sixth-round pick (#176 Dru Krebs).

Jul. 29, 2021: New York trades 2022 third-round pick (#95 Nicholas Moldenhauer) to Vegas Golden Knights for Ryan Reaves.

In-season transactions

Mar. 16, 2022: New York trades 2022 fourth-round pick (#127 Cedrick Guindon) to the Florida Panthers for Frank Vatrano.

Mar. 21, 2022: New York acquires Justin Braun from the Philadelphia Flyers in exchange for a 2023 third-round pick (#87 Yegor Zavragin).

Mar. 21, 2022: New York trades Anthony Bitetto to the San Jose Sharks for Nick Merkley.

Mar. 21, 2022: New York receives Andrew Copp and a 2023 sixth-round pick (#178 Dylan Roobroeck) from the Winnipeg Jets for 2022 first-round pick (#30 Brad Lambert), 2022 second-round pick (#55 Elias Salomonsson), and 2023 fifth-round pick (#151 Thomas Milic).

Mar. 21, 2022: New York trades a 2023 fourth-round pick (#119 Matthew Perkins) to the Vancouver Canucks for Tyler Motte

Mar. 28, 2022: New York acquires Maxim Letunov from the Carolina Hurricanes for Tarmo Reunanen

Season results

The Rangers marched to the Eastern Conference Final in 2021-22, where they lost in six games to the eventual Stanley Cup champion Tampa Bay Lightning. One of the season’s significant contributions came from Goodrow, who had an NHL career-high 33 points in 79 games. Although he only had one point in the playoffs, he was an essential acquisition for the team and remains in the lineup two seasons later.

Andrew Copp was the big trade-deadline pickup who didn’t disappoint in 20 playoff games, netting 14 points. However, New York gave up a handful of draft picks for his services, and he bolted at the start of free agency, meaning the club overpaid for a rental.

The only other trade in 2021-22 still talked about in 2023-24 is the deal that brought Frank Vatrano to the Big Apple. In limited time with the Blueshirts, he had 13 points in 22 games before joining the Anaheim Ducks as a free agent. This season he’s an NHL All-Star and has a career high in goals (26) and points (45). Vatrano has been discussed as a potential player New York should bring back into the fold ahead of this season’s deadline.

Related: New York Rangers rumors increasing 2 weeks before trade deadline

2022-23 Season (12 Trades)

New York Rangers
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Pre-season transactions

Jul. 7, 2022: New York trades Alexandar Georgiev to the Colorado Avalanche for a 2022 third-round pick (#97 Bryce McConnell-Barker), 2022 fifth-round pick (#161 Maxim Barbashev), and 2023 third-round pick (#91 Emil Pieniniemi).

Jul. 13, 2022: New York acquires Ty Emberson from the Arizona Coyotes in exchange for Patrik Nemeth, a 2025 second-pick pick, and a 2026 second-round pick.

Sep. 19, 2022: New York deals Nils Lundkvist to the Dallas Stars for a 2023 first-round pick (#29 Theo Lindstein) and a conditional 2025 fourth-round pick.

In-season transactions

Nov. 23, 2022: New York acquires a 2025 fifth-round pick from the Minnesota Wild in exchange for Ryan Reaves.

Feb. 9, 2023: New York trades Sammy Blais, Hunter Skinner, a 2023 first-round pick (#29 Theo Lindstein), and a 2024 third-round pick for Vladimir Tarasenko and Niko Mikkola.

Feb. 19, 2023: New York receives Tyler Motte from the Ottawa Senators for Julien Gauthier and a 2023 seventh-round pick (#215 Nicholas Vantassell).

Feb. 25, 2023: New York trades Vitali Kravtsov to the Vancouver Canucks for William Lockwood and a 2026 seventh-round pick.

Feb. 28, 2023: New York trades Austin Rueschhoff to Nashville Predators for future considerations.

Feb. 28, 2023: New York acquires Patrick Kane from the Arizona Coyotes and Cooper Zach from the Chicago Blackhawks for a 2025 third-round pick (to Arizona), a 2023 second-round pick (#55 Martin Misiak), and a 2025 fourth-round pick (to Chicago).

Mar. 3, 2023: New York trades Gustav Rudahl to the Colorado Avalanche for Anton Blidh.

Mar. 3, 2023: New York receives future consideration in exchange for Wyatt Kalynuk.

May 31, 2023: New York trades a 2023 fifth-round pick (#152 Rasmus Larsson) in exchange for Jayden Grubbe from the Edmonton Oilers.

Season results

In 2022-23, the Rangers fought the Carolina Hurricanes and New Jersey Devils all season long for the top spot in the Metropolitan Division, only to draw their New Jersey rivals in the first round of the playoffs, where they lost in seven games. Despite a quick exit, New York was involved in 12 transactions last season, some with significant impacts still felt today.

One of the most notable deals occurred in the summer when the Rangers traded Alexandar Georgiev to the Colorado Avalanche. Ultimately, the goalie’s inevitable departure led to Jaroslav Halak backing up Igor Shesterkin for a season before Jonathan Quick arrived this past summer to form one of the League’s most lethal goalie duos in 2023-24.

Before the trade deadline, Drury was busy retooling the lineup, acquiring former Stanley Cup champions Vladimir Tarasenko and Patrick Kane, and giving up two roster players and four draft picks.

Collectively, the duo have four championship rings and over 1,811 points in the NHL, but together, they tallied 43 points in 64 games with the Rangers, including the playoffs. Ultimately, a team with contender aspirations lost to a rival in what could be deemed an embarrassing first-round loss, with these players kicking in just 10 postseason points.

Lost in the shuffle of the two blockbuster deals is the transaction that sent former No. 9 overall pick Vitali Kravtsov to the Vancouver Canucks for a player (William Lockwood) and a draft pick. After being one of the Rangers’ top picks of the past decade, he never bloomed into the prospect the organization hoped for.

Historically, Kravtsov became the fourth first-round pick that the Rangers have dealt away since 2009, the year they drafted Chris Kreider.

Related: Rangers ‘shutting down’ all Brennan Othmann, Gabe Perreault trade talk ahead of deadline

2023-24 Season (One trade)

Pre-season transactions

Jun. 29, 2023: New York trades their 2023 third-round pick (#91 Emil Pieniniemi) and a 2024 seventh-round pick to the Pittsburgh Penguins for a 2023 third-round pick (#90 Drew Fortescue) .

In-season transactions

Outside of call-ups demotions and terminating Nick Bonino’s contract, the Rangers have yet to make a transaction during the 2023-24 season.

Season results

The Rangers have been the top team in the Metropolitan Division since Oct. 24 and have a 39-17-3 record for 81 points, seven points up on the second-place Carolina Hurricanes. The franchise record for wins is 53, and points is 113. Moreover, the Rangers recently had a 10-game winning streak, which tied the franchise record, set in 1939-40 and matched in 1972-73.

After losing Wheeler, kids like Kaapo Kakko, Alexis Lafreniere, Matt Rempe, Will Cuylle, and Adam Edstrom have done just fine filling in the gaps, providing time for Drury to think everything out and not make any reactionary deals. He doesn’t necessarily need to do anything that messes with the chemistry the team has already established.

Considering the NHL trade deadline is nearly a week away, all eyes will be on the Rangers and Drury, who may or may not do anything to alter the current lineup. As history indicates, some deals are worth remembering, and others just get lost in the file cabinets at NHL headquarters. Not every championship team makes a splash at the deadline because, more often than not, when they do, it doesn’t lead to a banner-raising ceremony in the fall.

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