Rangers heavily scouting trade targets on Senators, Predators, and Coyotes

NHL: New York Rangers at Nashville Predators
Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY SportsCredit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Over the course of the last week, the New York Rangers have been sending their scouts in droves to watch some expected sellers play.

Aside from the San Jose Sharks and Anaheim Ducks, who have known trade targets Anthony Duclair and Frank Vatrano respectively, they’re eyeing players on the Nashville Predators, Ottawa Senators, and Arizona Coyotes.

Matter of fact, when the Rangers rocked the New Jersey Devils 5-1 on Feb. 22, both the Predators and Senators had scouts in attendance.

With a little over a week until the Mar. 8th NHL Trade Deadline, here’s whom the Rangers may be interested in acquiring.

Related: Rangers Trade Board

Rangers heavily scouting Predators, Senators and Coyotes

NHL: Ottawa Senators at Toronto Maple Leafs
Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

Scouting the Ottawa Senators

When we look at the Senators, the top target is a reunion with winger Vladimir Tarasenko. The 32-year-old will be a UFA this summer, and it is believed the Sens will ask him to waive his no-trade clause soon in order to work on a deal.

New York will likely want the Sens to eat some of his $5 million cap hit in order to go after another one or two depth pieces. This season, Tarasenko has scored 15 goals and 38 points in 55 games.

Another possible target could be pending UFA forward, Dominik Kubalik.

Scouting the Nashville Predators

One name that is starting to come up more often is center Thomas Novak. The 26-year-old is a bargain at $800,000 and will be a UFA in July. This season, he’s notched 12 goals and 32 points in 49 matches. However, he could use some improvement in the face-off circle at 44.6%.

Another name that has been linked to the Rangers is rugged defenseman Jeremy Lauzon. Unlike Novak, the 26 year-old has two more years left on his contract at $2 million AAV and would bump Erik Gustafsson out of the lineup. If this is who the Rangers want, young defenseman Zac Jones could be the piece that is used to acquire him, since Lauzon would essentially block his path to a starting job.

Scouting the Arizona Coyotes

Perennial trade deadline seller Arizona is on every contenders shopping list this time of year. Although trying to figure out who the Rangers may be targeting is a bit difficult.

The most logical option here is winger Jason Zucker, who signed with the Coyotes on a one-year deal, similar to Tarasenko, for the purpose of being traded at the deadline. The 32-year-old has been okay with 23 points (8 goals, 15 assists) in 48 games. New York would definitely expect the Yotes to eat some of his $5.3 million cap hit.

However, let me throw you a curveball. Defenseman Matt Dumba is also a pending UFA this summer and would bolster the Rangers defense big time for a Cup run. The 29 year-old has a $3.9 million cap hit, which the Rangers could work to make fit.

Regardless of whom the Rangers are going after, they need to be wise about their moves.

“I think you need to be really careful with the team chemistry coming down the line if you’re going to bring somebody in that’s going to be a significant cog,” 1994 Stanley Cup winning GM Neil Smith told the Forever Blueshirts Show.

Sage advice for current Rangers GM Chris Drury indeed.

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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