Rangers acquisition of center, James Sheppard should move Hayes to wing
The Rangers may have made their last move of the trade deadline (or at least the day) in acquiring center, James Sheppard from SJ for a 4th round pick.
Another solid depth move that should slot Sheppard onto the third line and move Kevin Hayes to wing. Sheppard wins 50% of his draws but more importantly, 51.3% in the defensive zone. Here’s his full stats per faceoffs.net.
Sheppard can also contribute offensively as he has 5 goals and 16 points in 57 games. Of course, he could be put on 4th line with Dom Moore and be used in crucial situations in place of Hayes.
It would take some work but we’ve seen it before. Sheppard takes the draw and either Hayes or one of his wingers hop on if the Rangers win it. Regardless, this is a move to address an issue and if Sheppard is replacing Stempniak it’s still a big win.
FYI the Sharks retained $100,000 of Sheppard's salary to help Rangers' cap situation
— Pierre LeBrun (@Real_ESPNLeBrun) March 2, 2015
If you really want to know why the Rangers got him though…watch these clips.