Top three New York Rangers most likely to be traded before the season starts
This offseason has been focused on adding grit to the lineup. The New York Rangers have done that, but some additional moves could be made before the season starts.
These trades may be to facilitate a big trade. I did hear some disgruntled superstar just changed agents. Or the Rangers may just want to have extra money for a Mika Zibanejad and Adam Fox extension.
Let’s look at the top three Blueshirts that may be moved before the season starts.
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Alexandar Georgiev is the top Rangers trade candidate
Georgiev is a quality goaltender who has yet to realize his full potential. There’s rumblings that he is looking for an opportunity to be a starter elsewhere, but that was shot down by his agent Mike Liut. Although Frank Seravalli remains pretty adamant that the 25 year-old is interested in a change of scenery and that the Rangers are looking to move him.
Georgiev’s cap hit coming into this season is $2.425M and he will be an RFA with arbitration rights in 2022. This makes him a desirable acquisition because the team that trades for him has some control until he’s 27.
This past season, Georgiev posted a 8-7-2 record with a solid GAA of 2.71 and SV% of .905. For his young career, he’s registered a 43-38-9 record with 6 shutouts, a 2.95 GAA, and .912 SV% in 96 games played. Solid stats which are more notable since he posted them in the middle of a Rangers rebuild.
Chris Drury is going to need cap space and you can expect Georgiev will want a raise next summer. The Rangers just gave Igor Shesterkin a new 4 year-deal worth $5.66M a year against the cap. That means going into this season the Rangers are allocating a little over $8 million to goaltending.
The solid play of Keith Kinkaid last season also means the Rangers don’t have to scramble for Georgiev’s replacement. The 32 year-old is only on the books for $825,000 which is a great value when you look at his numbers. Kinkaid posted an 3-2-1 record in 9 games with a GAA of 2.59 and an .898 SV%.
Filip Chytil a wild card
Chytil could still be one of the key pieces moved in a trade for a center before the season starts. That includes possibly Jack Eichel, or whatever else may present itself.
He showed real promise this past season despite an injury to his wrist. In 42 games, he scored 22 points a .14 points per game improvement over his previous year. The young center, who still seems better suited at wing is now signed for two season at $2.3M AAV.
Chris Drury has reshaped the bottom six of his lineup in order to diversify the way the Rangers play. Barclay Goodrow could center the third line and allow Chytil to play the wing and thrive.
Still, Chytil is likely one of their most valuable trade chips because of his contract and age of just 21.
Libor Hajek, deal close but so could be a trade
According to the NY Post, sources from Libor Hajek’s camp say a new deal is imminent. The RFA was tendered a qualifying offer weeks ago.
The 23 year-old left shot defenseman has had his ups and downs since joining the Rangers. This past year, he looked better defensively in spurts but seemed to lose the offensive side to his game. He managed just 2 goals and 2 assists in 44 contests, but had a +2 rating after being inserted permanently into the lineup in February.
Hajek seems like a good candidate to be included in a trade at some point. Even if it’s to a younger and upcoming team like the Red Wings or Coyotes for a draft pick. There simply is no room on the Rangers defense for him. It’s also likely he has fallen well behind other prospects like Braden Schneider and Matthew Robertson on the org chart.
Knowing how hard his agent Allan Walsh advocates for his clients, I wouldn’t be surprised if they quietly asked Chris Drury to trade him elsewhere for an opportunity.
Jack Eichel changes agents looking for a trade
Elliotte Friedman is reporting that Jack Eichel has changed his representation from Peter Fish and Peter Donatelli to Pat Brisson. His move to one of the game’s most powerful sports agents is a clear indication of just how frustrated he is with his current situation. Read more.