Predictions for New York Rangers 2023 restricted free agents
Heading into next season, the New York Rangers will be faced with a number of challenges to fill out the roster due to limited cap space.
Per PuckPedia, it’s estimated that GM Chris Drury will have around $11,762,918 to fill out a roster that has just 14 out players from this past season signed. Several unsigned players are restricted free agents.
Here’s our predictions for what the Blueshirts will do.
New York Rangers RFAs
Alexis Lafreniere: When the Ottawa Senators announced an 8-year contract extension for Tim Stutzle in September worth $66.8 million ($8.35M AAV) a league source told me to bust out my calculator because he didn’t see Lafreniere signing for less. However, here we are after another okay season followed by a disappointing playoffs and there’s no chance Alexis will see anything close to that this summer. The first overall pick in 2020 has amassed just 91 points in 216 regular-season games.
Prediction: Rangers sign him to a two-year bridge deal likely in the neighborhood of $2.5M to $3M with bonuses.
K’ Andre Miller: I wanted the Rangers to extend him during the season, and if they did it would’ve been for more than what he’s likely to get now. After an excellent regular-season where he set career-highs for goals (9), assists (34), and points (43) the 23 year-old regressed defensively down the stretch and in the playoffs. All of that will factor into his next deal.
Prediction: Rangers sign him to a two-year bridge deal likely in the neighborhood of $3.5M with bonuses.
Zac Jones: The 22 year-old left defenseman struggled to crack the lineup under Gerard Gallant, who preferred size above all else on his third pair. With Gallant dismissed and Niko Mikkola likely leaving via unrestricted free agency, Jones has a real chance to make it next season. His biggest competition at the moment will be prospect Matthew Robertson, who is big (6-4′, 201 lbs) but still looks like he needs more seasoning in the AHL. Jones has been great for Hartford recording 31 points in 54 games and posting 6 points in 8 playoff matches to date.
Prediction: Rangers sign him to a one-year deal likely in the neighborhood of $1M with bonuses.
Libor Hajek: It’s difficult to see a future for Hajek with the Rangers. Especially after the team extended Ben Harpur for two seasons to be their seventh defenseman. With his value at an all-time low, the Rangers will likely be looking to maximize their return in a trade. Of all the restricted free agents, he’s the only one with arbitration rights.
Prediction: Rangers qualify him and trade his rights at the NHL Draft.
- Patrick Khodorenko, F
- Lauri Pajuniemi, F (leaving for Europe)
- Brandon Scanlin, D
- Ty Emberson, D
- Cooper Zech, D (leaving for Europe)