April 7, 2020

Should the Rangers trade for Josh Anderson this offseason

Josh Anderson (USA TODAY Sports)

The injured Blue Jackets forward Josh Anderson is rumored to be available this off-season (whenever that is). The 6’3″, 225 pound monster sized winger will be 26 next month and an RFA on July 1st. According to Spector’s Hockey, Columbus has already $68 million locked up on 17 players and may be forced to move Anderson for cap reasons.

A North/South Player

During this season and especially during the trade deadline, Anderson was rumored to be trade bait and the Rangers a destination. Larry Brooks wrote about a possible trade that would see Chris Kreider reunite with John Tortorella for Josh Anderson that obviously never came to pass.

One of the scouts in the building Sunday was Rick Nash, who is special assistant to Columbus GM Jarmo Kekalainen. The Jackets could sure use Kreider on the left side of the first line. They could use him on the power play. They could use a reunion between Kreider and his first pro coach, John Tortorella. Let’s just say there’d be no adjustment period. And Columbus has more to offer than just the typical pick-and-prospect package. Indeed, the Jackets have Josh Anderson, the 25-year-old power winger who has been sidelined with a shoulder injury since Dec. 14 and who is a pending RFA a year away from unrestricted free agency.

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Adding Josh Anderson is intriguing but at this time he isn’t that impressive considering he’s never scored more than 47 points in a season. However, the Rangers could use more North/South type players in what is predominantly an East/West flock of forwards.

Taking a chance

Josh Anderson fight (AP Photo/Andy Clayton-King)

While Josh Anderson is recovering from a shoulder injury, he is fully expected to be ready for next season. He represents an excellent opportunity as a buy low candidate for the Rangers.

Of course, the team is overloaded at the right side with Buchnevich, Kakko, Gauthier, and soon to be Kravtsov in camp for the 2020-2021 campaign. That also doesn’t include Jesper Fast because he is a UFA and may not be here. Either way, someone will have to make the move to the left side and it could very well be Kravtsov or possibly Anderson if acquired.

The question is simple, is he worth acquiring having scored only 65 goals in 267 career games? That depends on the price. If the Rangers could move Lias Andersson and another prospect or 2nd round pick for him, they should make the move. Yes, they have cap concerns of their own and Anderson has arbitration rights but I still think they can fit him in under a one year show me deal. Should he hit big next season when he becomes a UFA in 2021 the Rangers will be in good shape. By then they will have already shed the contracts of Lundqvist, Staal, and Smith by that point. In other words, he certainly is worth the risk.

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