Rangers Trade Stepan and Raanta, Signal Huge Changes Coming

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The Rangers have traded forward Derek Stepan and backup goaltender Antti Raanta to the Arizona Coyotes for young defenseman Anthony DeAngelo and the 7th overall pick in tonight’s entry draft.

This trade is good for both teams. Arizona now has a number one center and a number one goalie going forward. The Rangers get a young defenseman and gain $6.6 million in cap space by moving Stepan and Raanta, whereas DeAngelo is still on his entry-level contract.

As for DeAngelo, his discipline has been an issue in the past, but that should clean up as he gains experience. He is a very smooth skater, who according to one scouting report, can be a valuable asset on the power play. DeAngelo put up 14 points in 39 games with the Coyotes this season, eight of them coming on the power play. He needs to work on his defensive game, but if he can, he could be good on the Rangers blue line in the future

Now What?

This trade gives the Rangers a ton of additional cap space to sign free agents such as Joe Thornton and/or Kevin Shattenkirk. It also gives them more trade bait to try and land players like Jacob Trouba, Matt Duchene or Evander Kane. This trade definitely puts the Rangers in a bit of a pickle in goal, with the Rangers appearing not to have an NHL ready backup in the organization. In addition, they are down to two centers, with Lindberg and now Stepan moving off the roster.

This trade was more about clearing up cap space than anything else. The Rangers now have almost $20 million in cap space, possibly $23 million if Klein retires. That should be enough money to sign and re-sign the players needed to make this team better.


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