Rangers Should Take Flyer On Duclair
The one-time Rangers prospect, who was traded in a blockbuster deal that saw defenseman Keith Yandle come to New York back in 2015, has done a complete 180 in terms of his NHL growth.
The former third-round pick of the Rangers was seen as one of their most talented prospects just a few years back. Playing in 18 games with the Blueshirts in the 2014-15 season, Duclair registered seven (G, 6A) points. The contending Rangers did what we’re used to at the trade deadline that year, shipping away high picks and prospects (Duclair) for an established NHLer to help them with their cup run.
Since then, Duclair has shown sparks of who we thought he was but often got buried on the bottom-six, not really given a chance to shine. Now is the perfect time for the Rangers to have a reunion with Duclair, as it seems like there is no downside if it doesn’t work out. The now 22-year-old has been on three teams and has been traded twice. If he does get brought back by the rebuilding Rangers, Duclair will certainly be given a shot right away. The winger-needy Rangers could use Duclair’s speed and ability to post some points, as he’s shown his ability to do so at an NHL level.
In his first season in Arizona, Duclair tallied 44 points over 81 games, 20 of those being goals. The signing of Duclair wouldn’t cost much for the Rangers, and if given the right playing time with good linemates, Duclair could flourish.
At the end of the day, Duclair is just 22-years-old. It wouldn’t make much sense for the Rangers to not inquire about him since he would fit right in with the rest of the young guns the Rangers now have. He would be considered a “veteran” among the prospects, due to the fact that he’s been around the NHL for three-or-so seasons. If the Rangers give Duclair a real home, without the worry of being traded, and put him on a line with say Mika Zibanejad and Chris Kreider, the Rangers could have found themselves a diamond in the rough.