Ranking the New York Rangers top prospects for the trade deadline

The New York Rangers are one of the top top teams in the NHL and they are also one of the youngest. Unlike many of the seasoned contenders like the Tampa Bay Lightning, Colorado Avalanche, and Vegas Golden Knights, Chris Drury has a ton of assets in the form of prospects and picks to improve the team.

As the NHL Trade Deadline is a little over two weeks away, let’s rank the Rangers top future assets. The criteria will be any player with less than a year’s experience in the NHL coupled with the likelihood they will be traded.

Ranking the New York Rangers prospects for a trade

Below are my top 10 futures that Chris Drury can move at this year’s trade deadline on March 21st to bolster the lineup. They are ranked by their trade value and probability to be moved.

I included the Rangers first round pick for not only this upcoming draft but for the following one as well. This team’s window to win a Stanley Cup has opened and drafted players that are likely going to be late first round picks won’t be able to help for at least another five years.

RankPlayerPOSAGESTATUS/AAV
1Vitali KravtsovRW22RFA/$925K
22022 1st Rd PickN/AN/AN/A
3Nils LundkvistD212 YEARS/$925K
4Zac JonesD211 YEAR/$925K
5Matthew RobertsonD202 YEARS/$797K
6Will CuylleF202 YEARS/$850K
7Hunter SkinnerD202 YEARS/$850K
8Lauri PajuniemiF221 YEAR/$883K
92023 1st Rd PickN/AN/AN/A
10Morgan BarronF231 YEAR/$925K
NYR Trade Deadline prospects (3.5.2022)

Analyzing the list

Nils Lundkvist Zac Jones
Nils Lundkvist and Zac Jones (Photo: John Mrakovcich)

There should be no surprise that Kravtsov is at the top of the list. The Rangers are going to be buyers and the former first round selection, 9th overall, from 2018 has seen his value drop steadily year after year. While it’s nice that he’s playing well in the KHL, the red flags are out on his compete level. I almost feel like Drury would dump him for Phil Kessel instead of giving up a second round pick.

The rest of the top five is likely only going to see New York’s 2022 first round pick moved and one prospect defenseman. Chris Drury is not going to gut his farm system and prospect pipeline at this deadline. Nils Lundkvist will likely only be traded for a player like J.T. Miller (one with term left), but I could see Zac Jones or Matthew Robertson included in a deal for a top six rental forward. Keep an eye on either of them to be part of a deal to bring in Rickard Rakell from Anaheim. That will save the team’s first round pick for a run at Montreal’s Ben Chiarot.

As for the bottom five, Will Cuylle is the one I would try to keep if possible. However, with Brennan Othmann tearing it up in the OHL, and a long line of young forwards already in the Rangers lineup he could be expendable. If he stays, Cuylle could be part of the Rangers third line next season.

Finally, I added Morgan Barron at 10. While I doubt they will trade him, it isn’t an impossibility. Barron is projected to be no higher than a third line player, with the reality being more of a fourth liner. That can be easily replaced every year via free agency.

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