Top 5 Rangers best value contracts for 2023-24 season

Adam Fox Igor Shesterkin
Apr 16, 2022; New York, New York, USA; New York Rangers defenseman Adam Fox (23) celebrates a 4-0 win against the Detroit Red Wings with New York Rangers goalie Igor Shesterkin (31) at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Rangers are a team loaded with top-notch talent. With Peter Laviolette at the helm, this squad will try and win their first Stanley Cup since the 1994 season.

When they won their fourth Cup in franchise history there was no salary cap in place. General Managers today must take that into consideration, which means finding the bang for your buck.

Artemi Panarin is the team’s best offensive player leading the Rangers in scoring every year he’s been here. However, his seven-year deal signed in 2019 comes with an AAV of $11.6M and the flat cap since the pandemic stoppage hurts that value.

Let’s dive into the five best contracts on the Rangers for this upcoming season.

1. Igor Shesterkin: 4 years, $5.66M AAV

Igor Shesterkin
Credit: Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports

When the Rangers extended Igor Shesterkin on August 9, 2021 they got the best value possible. The now 27 year-old netminder had a Vezina winning 2021-22 campaign with a 36-13-4 record and led the league in both GAA (2.07) and SV% (.935). He followed that up with an excellent postseason going 10-9 with a GAA of 2.59, and a SV% of .929 in 20 appearances.

In 2022-23, Shesterkin recored a 37-13-8 mark with a 2.48 GAA and a .916 save percentage. Per CapFriendly, his AAV ranks 10th among goaltenders while his SV% last season also ranks 10th. For context, only Connor Hellebuyck ($6.166M, .920 SV%) had a better save percentage of all the goalies above Shesterkin by AAV.

Contract notes: In years three (2023-24) and four (2024-25) of his deal, a modified no-trade clause kicks in (10 team list). Shesterkin will be a UFA in 2025-26.

2. Adam Fox: 7 years, $9.5M AAV

Adam Fox was acquired for just two draft picks in what will go down as one of the best trades in team history.

After a nice rookie season posting 42 points in 70 matches, he won the Norris Trophy with 47 points in 55 games during the COVID shortened season of 2020-21. An impressive feat matching the great Bobby Orr to earn the honor as a sophomore.

The Rangers wisely gave Fox a 7 year extension the following season as he produced 74 points in 78 games and added 23 points for the team’s ECF run. This past season, he was once again a finalist for the Norris Trophy with 72 points in 82 games.

Per CapFriendly, Fox’s AAV of $9.5M heading into this season is tied for fourth among all defensemen. Erik Karlsson ($11.5M), Drew Doughty ($11M), and Zach Werenski ($9.58M) are ahead of him with only Karlsson outscoring him. As the salary cap ceiling increases, Fox’s contract will be one of the best among the league’s top defenders.

Contract notes: Years four (2025-26) and five (2026-27) of the deal come with a full no-move clause. In the final two years it becomes a modified no-trade (16 teams). Fox will be a UFA in 2029-30.

3. Mika Zibanejad: 8 years, $8.5M AAV

new york rangers k'andre miller
Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports

Another one of the great Rangers trades in history was acquiring Mika Zibanejad along with a second round pick in 2016 for Derick Brassard and a seventh round pick from the Ottawa Senators on July 18, 2016.

The 30 year-old pivot has developed into one of the game’s best two-way players which earned him an eight-year extension on October 10, 2021 with a bargain AAV of $8.5 million.

Zibanejad is coming off the best year of his career with 91 points in 82 games last season. He also appears to be on the verge of breaking the 100 point barrier in the near future. Per CapFriendly, he enters the season with the 16th highest AAV for centers in the NHL and ranks 12th in points per game (1.11) for 2022-23.

Contract notes: Zibanejad has a full no-move clause for the duration of the contract, until 21 days prior to the trade deadline in the final year. It then becomes a modified no-trade with a 21 team list. He will be a UFA in 2030-31.

4. K’Andre Miller: 2 years, $3.872M AAV

The moment the Rangers were able to get Miller signed to a bridge deal, he easily moved into the top 5 for valued contracts on the team.

In 79 games this past season, the 23 year-old picked up a career-high 43 points (9 goals, 34 assists). That was also good for second in points for Rangers’ blue-liners behind Fox. In addition, he ranked fourth in blocks (105), and second in hits (162). 

Per CapFriendly, Miller’s .54 points per game last season ranks 40th among all defensemen. The fact that his new AAV places at 92 for defensemen along with his offensive upside, that’s real good contract value.

Contract notes: Miller will be an RFA in 2025-26.

5. Blake Wheeler: 1 year, $800K AAV

When the bell rang for Free Agent Frenzy on July 1, the Rangers hit a home run by signing veteran right wing Blake Wheeler, who was bought out by the Winnipeg Jets the day before.

Wheeler, 36, registered 16 goals and 39 assists for 55 points in 72 games last year. For his career, he’s notched 312 and 922 points in 1,118 matches with 45 points in 65 postseason contests.

The Blueshirts added a proven player that is willing to get his nose dirty in the tough areas for just $800,000 with performance bonuses. Simply looking at that contract versus last season’s production makes this an easy one to close out the list.

Contract notes: Wheeler will be a UFA at the end of the season.

Honorable Mentions:

Ryan Lindgren (3 years, $3M AAV)

Chris Kreider (7 years, $6.5M AAV)

Anthony Scultore is the founder of Forever Blueshirts and has been covering the New York Rangers and the NHL... More about Anthony Scultore

Mentioned in this article:

More About: