Rangers Roundup: Colin Blackwell trade bait; Zac Jones wins NCAA Championship; and more
The New York Rangers have another big game on tap tonight against the Islanders. They can close the gap with Boston to five points with a win since the Bruins lost to the Flyers in regulation yesterday. Of course, tomorrow is also the NHL Trade Deadline and GM Jeff Gorton is a question mark heading into it.
Colin Blackwell trade bait candidate?
While the Rangers have played some great hockey going 9-4-2 in their last 15 games; they will not sacrifice youth or draft picks for rentals. That was made absolutely crystal clear to me after doing some further digging on the Blueshirts approach to the deadline on Monday, April 12th.
When it comes to how the are approaching tomorrow, I was informed that if they make any deals at all it will be for a player that helps the team beyond just this season. Again that means no rentals; but I got the sense it also meant not simply selling off players like pending UFA Brendan Smith for a late round pick.
The Blueshirts also have other intriguing options like Colin Blackwell who has surprised many with his 12 goals in 31 games this season. Larry Brooks’ latest column speculated what the Rangers would do if they got a call for him tomorrow.
You know what, if a contender comes after Blackwell and has a No. 3 in mind to exchange, as much as the Rangers probably wouldn’t want to do it, they’d have to, right? But our best information is that no such interest has been expressed. That does not mean it won’t be before Monday’s 3 p.m. deadline bell rings.NY POST
Brooks also made it a point that the Blueshirts should be looking at a player like Sam Bennett in the offseason.
Rangers prospect Zac Jones win the NCAA Championships
UMASS defeated St. Cloud State 5-0 to capture the NCAA National Championship. For Rangers prospect defenseman Zac Jones he scored the opening goal which became the championship winning tally. He was also named to the Frozen Four All-Tournament team.
In 2019, the Rangers made their third round selection by taking U.S. born defenseman Zac Jones. This season for UMASS he’s collected 8 goals and 23 points n 27 games to go with a +16 rating. The 20 year-old defenseman ranks third for all NCAA defensemen with 46 points dating back to last season. Now he’s drawing comparisons by his head coach to none other than Adam Fox.
UMASS head coach Greg Carvel had some glowing remarks about Jones. “He’s a high high end offensive player – he’ll be a similar player to Adam Fox in New York,” he said. “He’s getting physically stronger. His growth without the puck over the past two years has been outstanding. He’s an outstanding college player and he will be in the NHL someday.”
NHL TRADE DEADLINE COVERAGE
Tomorrow FTHN will be covering the trade deadline at The Daily Goal Horn. Check out the NHL TRADE BAIT TRACKER as a Primer here.