Rangers Roundup: Ben Chiarot trade target, Alexis Lafrenière on right wing, and more

The New York Rangers have some interest in adding left-handed defenseman Ben Chiarot by the NHL Trade Deadline.

On Sunday, the Montreal Canadiens placed him on injured reserve with a lower-body injury. A stint on IR is for at least seven days. The 30 year-old pending UFA sustained the injury Saturday in a 2-1 loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets.

New York Rangers interested in Chiarot

Chiarot’s injury sparked concerns around the organization and talks regarding the timetable for his impending trade.

“Anytime you have a player with as much interest as Chiarot has you worry about (injury),” Elliotte Friedman said. “Among the interested teams are St. Louis, Carolina, the Rangers, Florida, Los Angels and Calgary.”

The steady defenseman can play top four minutes and will likely garner a solid package from any contender trying to acquire him. Habs VP of hockey ops Jeff Gorton has familiarity with many of the Rangers top prospects and may have his eyes on a player like Nils Lundkvist.

Despite the Rangers being overloaded with young talent on the blue-line, it would be wise for GM Chris Drury to be very selective with which prospect he trades for a rental.

In 44 games this season, Chiarot has nine points (five goals, four assists) and 36 penalty minutes. He has played in 459 career games with the Winnipeg Jets (2013-19) and Canadiens, tallying 101 points (27 goals, 74 assists) and 339 PIM.

Alexis Lafrenière getting used to right wing

new york rangers
Feb 1, 2022; New York, New York, USA; New York Rangers left wing Alexis Lafreniere (13) celebrates after scoring a goal with teammates against the Florida Panthers during the second period at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

It looks like Alexis Lafrenière is getting ready to make a long-term switch from his natural left wing position. Prior to the break, he was on a top line with Chris Kreider and Mika Zibanejad. Since returning, he’s been a staple at practice on their right side.

“It’s good to have a couple practices playing right(wing)– you know after practice we just work on little things,” he said on Sunday. “It’s not a big change, but it’s just small things that I need to do different. It’s going well and it’s only practice, so I can’t wait to play games and to get used to it.”

One thing that Lafrenière talked about was possibly shooting more. Something that Chris Kreider said he’d like to see Alexis do more of.

“You’re always in a shooting position,” the lefty said about playing his off wing. “It might be good for me to shoot a little more. I’m playing with two players that have great vision so they can find me pretty easily.”

Lafrenière, 20, has 10 goals and 13 points in 45 games this season with the Rangers. He’s also riding a two-game goal scoring streak that he will look to extend tomorrow against the Bruins.

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