Rangers land depth defenseman, Stanley Cup champion Chad Ruhwedel

NHL: Pittsburgh Penguins at San Jose Sharks
Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

In their second trade ahead of the NHL deadline, the New York Rangers added a Stanley Cup champion to their roster, acquiring Chad Ruhwedel from the Pittsburgh Penguins on Friday.

New York sent a fourth-round pick in the 2027 NHL Draft to the Penguins for the 33-year-old defenseman.

Ruhwedel will provide veteran depth at the defenseman position. He’s a right shot, who’s responsible in his own end and strong on the penalty kill. The San Diego native was averaging an NHL career-high 2:01 in shorthanded ice time this season.

“When you’re taking on the end of the season and what you hope to be a long playoff run, having that depth i think is really important,” Rangers coach Peter Laviolette said. “He provides that with his experience and the way he plays the game. He’s a guy who can come in and help us.”

In his 12th NHL season, Ruhwedel has four points (one goal, three assists) in 47 games. He has 49 points (13 goals, 36 assists) in 359 career games with the Penguins and Buffalo Sabres.

Related: It’s Frank Vatrano or bust for Rangers on trade deadline day

Rangers acquire veteran defenseman who’s won Stanley Cup in Chad Ruhwedel

NHL: Stanley Cup Final-Pittsburgh Penguins at Nashville Predators
Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

Ruhwedel helped the Penguins win the Stanley Cup in 2017. Overall, he has 25 games of Stanley Cup Playoff experience. He can become an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season and is making $800,000.

With Jacob Trouba missing practice Thursday with a lower-body injury, Ruhwedel could find himself in the lineup Saturday against the St. Louis Blues.

Zac Jones has been the extra defenseman for the Rangers this season, but could be used as part of a trade for a top-line right wing, New York’s main focus ahead of the deadline. Jones has five points (one goal, four assists) in 17 games this season and has played 55 games with the Blueshirts the past four seasons.

Earlier in the week, the Rangers acquired center Alex Wennberg from the Seattle Kraken in exchange for two draft picks, including a 2024 second rounder. Wennberg will slot in as the 3C, likely between Will Cuylle and Jimmy Vesey, and is expected to make his Blueshirts debut Saturday at home against the Blues.

Rangers acquire depth center Nic Petan from Wild

NHL: Minnesota Wild at Dallas Stars
Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Shortly after the Ruhwedel trade was announced, the Rangers acquired center Nic Petan from the Minnesota Wild for forward Turner Elson.

The 28-year-old improves the Blueshirts depth down the middle. He has 170 games of NHL experience with the Winnipeg Jets, Toronto Maple Leafs, Vancouver Canucks and Wild, and will likely slot in with Hartford of the American Hockey League.

Petan has spent most of this season playing in the AHL with the Iowa Wild, scoring 12 goals and 40 points in 44 games to date. He’s pointless in six games in the NHL this season.

Jim Cerny is Executive Editor at Forever Blueshirts and Managing Editor at Sportsnaut, with more than 30 years of... More about Jim Cerny

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