Rangers love new acquisition Brendan Lemieux

Brendan Lemieux (Photo by Eliot J. Schechter/NHLI via Getty Images)

The inevitable happened Monday morning, as Kevin Hayes was officially traded to the Winnipeg Jets.

Hayes to Winnipeg

In the trade, the Blueshirts add a second 1st round pick in the 2019 draft, along with forward Brendan Lemieux and a conditional fourth. The Rangers receive that fourth round pick only if Winnipeg wins the Cup. The return for Hayes is what most of us expected for a rental: a first round pick and a ‘B’ prospect. But this ‘B’ prospect is extremely important on this Rangers team going forward.

Gritty Like His Dad

Lemieux is an NHL ready winger and the type of player the Rangers need, and haven’t had in a long time. Lemieux has been categorized as a “gritty” bottom-six player. At first glance of that description, it may not seem very important, but if you look across the board at the other teams in the NHL, a player like Lemieux goes a long way. Tom Wilson, Miles Wood, Ryan Reaves, Matt Martin, and Milan Lucic just to name a few.

This type of high-octane player is essential to a team. Throw a hit when down, grind in the rough areas, and provide energy on and off the ice. At just 22 and playing in 41 games for the Jets this season, Lemieux will have an immediate impact on the Rangers lineup. An argument can be made that to have a successful team, you need a guy that will do the work no one else will. Usually coming from a bottom-six forward, we now expect Lemieux to fill in that slot right away.

The culture change brought in by David Quinn at the beginning of the year feeds right into the wheelhouse of Brendan Lemieux. As seen by guys like Tony Deangelo, Quinn’s system needs guys to grind and play tough — something which the Rangers lacked in years past. And now with the addition of Lemieux, David Quinn will only smile with the style of game he brings.

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