Ranking New York Rangers trade targets two weeks until NHL Trade Deadline

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The NHL Trade Deadline is just two weeks away and as expected the New York Rangers are in the thick of rumors.

General Manager Chris Drury is looking bolster his lineup for the playoffs and there’s a lot of indication that he’ll be very busy. New York may not be landing some of the bigger rentals like Claude Giroux, but they make several deals in the coming weeks.

Here’s a breakdown of trade targets categorized into three tiers.

New York Rangers: Top Trade Targets

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November 1, 2018; Anaheim, CA, USA; Anaheim Ducks center Rickard Rakell (67) celebrates his goal scored against the New York Rangers during the third period at Honda Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Rickard Rakell, 28, is a right wing that is currently playing on the Ducks third line due to the emergence of Troy Terry. The pending UFA forward has 15 goals and 27 points in 47 games and has become the Rangers top trade target. His current cap hit is $3.8 million and would really help the Rangers scoring issues.

Ben Chiarot, 30, is pending UFA that has 16 points in 51 games and could play top four minutes on the left side for any playoff team. It is believed that asking price by the Habs for the rental defenseman starts with a first round pick and another prospect. Chris Drury is going to make a run a serious at him per a source. Will Jeff Gorton help his former assistant?

Phil Kessel, 34, is a pending UFA and considered a top rental. He is still productive with 34 points in 55 games for the Coyotes. The Rangers are believed to not be interested, but I was told they are certainly keeping tabs on the situation.

Max Domi, 27, is a pending UFA this summer with a cap hit of $5.3 million. The versatile forward can play center but has been used by Columbus primarily as a left wing. This season, he has 26 points in 46 games. This is another player that Drury is keeping tabs on, but will John Davidson help the man who took his job?

Calle Jarnkrok, 30, is having a solid season with the Kraken and can play any forward position. He’s currently playing first line center, which should tell you all you need to know about the Kraken’s lowly position in the standing. He would be a great third line center for the playoffs. Jarnkrok has 23 points in 45 games.

Mark Giordano, 38, has 23 points in 51 games for the Kraken. He is exactly what contending teams will be looking for at the deadline. The Rangers had their sights set on him in the offseason prior to signing Patrik Nemeth. They may attempt to acquire him for the playoffs, but the rumor mill has him heading back to Calgary either at the deadline or via free agency.

On the radar, but unlikely

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Feb 24, 2022; Vancouver, British Columbia, CAN; Vancouver Canucks forward J.T. Miller (9) celebrates his first goal of the game against the Calgary Flames in the second period at Rogers Arena. Mandatory Credit: Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports

J.T. Miller, 28, has one more year left on his deal worth $5.25M before becoming a UFA. He’s also been extremely productive with 63 points in 55 games for Vancouver this season. The asking price is is high which indicates he is not going anywhere. If the price drops, the Rangers will reengage.

Reilly Smith, 30, is in the final year of his contract with a $5 million cap hit. He’s a perfect rental and has played for Gerard Gallant in the past. The forward has 37 points in 54 games this season but the Golden Knights will be using LTIR to keep him. Unless Mark Stone comes back before the deadline, Smith is staying put.

Artturi Lehkonen, 26, is scheduled to be a restricted free agent with arbitration rights. He has 25 points in 53 games this season. The former second round pick (55th overall) makes $2.3M on his current deal and could be a could fit beyond this season for the Rangers. He’s been playing well under new coach Marty St. Louis and is likely off the table now.

Hampus Lindholm, 28, is making $5.2 million against the cap which is not an issue for the Rangers this season. The big left-handed defenseman (6-4, 216) has 20 points in 55 games this season averaging top pair minutes at 22:50. Anaheim is talking extension with Lindholm, so he’s likely off the table.

Tomas Hertl, 28, is in the final year of a deal that has a $5.625M cap hit. This season, he’s notched 42 points in 55 contests. If he’s available the Rangers are likely to go hard for him but the latest reports have the Sharks working hard to extend him.

Back-up Trade Targets

new york rangers trade rumors
Feb 9, 2022; Calgary, Alberta, CAN; Vegas Golden Knights center Mattias Janmark (26) skates during the warmup period against the Calgary Flames at Scotiabank Saddledome. Mandatory Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

Mattias Janmark, 31, is one of several Vegas players that will be a UFA. While the Rangers would love Reilly Smith, the swap out of Mark Stone for Jack Eichel on LTIR will keep him there. Vegas may still need to clear cap space and Janmark makes sense to move. He’s registered 17 points in 44 games this season playing a third line role.

Nick Paul, 26, is a pending UFA making $1.35 million. This season, he’s scored 17 points in 53 games with the Sens. He’s been moved to the second line center spot and would be a nice cheap add for the Rangers as a third line winger/center. Paul played for Gallant this summer at the World Championships.

Ryan Carpenter, 31, is a pending UFA making $1 million. This season, he’s registered 9 points in 52 games with Chicago. He is a bottom six center that wins 52.4 of his draws and racked up 97 hits. Acquiring this physical forward would be an upgrade over Greg McKegg and solidify the 4th line.

Vlad Namestnikov, 29, will be a UFA at the end of the year coming off a deal that pays $2 million. In 54 games, he’s put home 13 goals and 23 points. He’s been a versatile player for the Wings this season playing a middle-six forward role. Namestnikov is also familiar with New York having played for the Rangers for three seasons from 2017/18 to 2019/20 (35 points in 99 games).

We will update this list next Monday.

NHL Trade Bait Tracker

The latest Trade Bait Tracker has been updated and now contains 35 names. Check out who is the top target for teams with just two weeks left before the NHL Trade Deadline. Read more.