One name that seems to be persistent as a potential trade candidate for the New York Rangers at the deadline is Ryan Strome. Seeing his name continuously pop up on lists had me scratching my head. Why would the Rangers move their second line center this season? It’s obvious Filip Chytil isn’t ready to take on the responsibilities of centering Artemi Panarin so why move him? What do you think this overcrowded market of available players in the flat cap era is going to get you?
Are you starting to see my logic yet? If so then the rest of what I’m about to write should make sense to you.
Ryan Strome has been very good for the Rangers
You would think that Ryan Strome has done enough since being traded to the New York Rangers to earn a spot here. In 164 career games as a member of the the Blueshirts, Strome has registered 46 goals and 118 points. This season, the 27 year-old has posted 26 points in 31 games, with 20 of those contests flanked by Panarin. In the Breadman’s absences this season he’s produced and helped keep this team afloat.
So just how good has Strome been? His .84 points per game average is as good as John Tavares and better than Evgeni Malkin’s .83 and Elias Pettersson’s .81. The former Islanders first round pick, #5 overall in 2011 took a few years to find his game, but he’s unquestionably one of the top centers in the NHL.
Is he a #1 center? That’s a pretty obvious answer. Is he an excellent #2 pivot? I argue yes, and he would be an elite #3 middle man if the Rangers can acquire Jack Eichel and keep him on board.
The bottom line, when I started asking around why Strome’s name had been coming up as a potential trade candidate, I was met with the same confusion. Unless he’s part of a deal for an elite center, he’s more valuable here this season and as a trade chip this offseason.
The Rangers biggest move is not likely to happen at this trade deadline
There’s is no secret the Rangers are looking for another top center this summer. With that being said, there isn’t one that’s going to be on the market for them come April 12. Names expected to be shopped this offseason are Jack Eichel, Aleksander Barkov, Evgeni Malkin, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Evgeny Kuznetsov, and possibly Sidney Crosby.
As we know, the Rangers want 24 year-old Jack Eichel more than anyone else mentioned.
After speaking with knowledgeable people I believe a fair offer from the Rangers for Eichel would look something like Vitali Kravtsov, a roster player, a young prospect defenseman (Nils Lundkvist or Braden Schneider excluded), and a first round pick.
If the Rangers are going to land Eichel or anyone of the mentioned centers, Ryan Strome may have to be the roster player sent back the other way to replace them in the middle. Unless of course it is the Buffalo Sabres looking to rebuild and the 27 year-old Strome would be swapped with a younger center in Filip Chytil.
Bottom line, Strome isn’t going anywhere at the deadline. It’s also possible he might no go anywhere at all.
Today’s first batch of rumors are here.