Updated New York Rangers trade board 1 week before 2024 deadline

NHL: St. Louis Blues at Chicago Blackhawks
Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

February comes to an end this week, meaning the New York Rangers have final decisions to make ahead of the 2024 NHL trade deadline March 8.

Despite sitting atop the Metropolitan Division and recently tying the franchise record by winning 10 consecutive games, the Rangers have holes to fill on their roster. But it’s a dilemma for the Rangers. General manager Chris Drury is trying to strengthen a Stanley Cup contender without messing up a good thing, especially with team chemistry.

Will Drury go all in for a top-line right wing, third-line center and third-pair defenseman (or depth defender)? Will he try to go big for one of those positions, likely right wing, and trust that Jonny Brodzinski, Matt Rempe, Will Cuylle and Adam Edstrom are ready for big-time playoff hockey in the bottom six?

Three weeks after Forever Blueshirts posted its original trade board for the Rangers, the ground has shifted some, though no major trades have taken place in the League. So, the players from the original list still remain with their respective teams.

And there are new names cropping up in rumors, including Philadelphia Flyers forward Scott Laughton, Seattle Kraken center Yanni Gourde, Pittsburgh Penguins forward Reilly Smith, Nashville Predators defenseman Alexandre Carrier and St. Louis Blues wing Pavel Buchnevich. Each is intriguing, especially Buchnevich, the former Blueshirt, who leads the Blues with 22 goals.

But for various reasons, notably term remaining on their contract past this season, none of those players made our updated list. Neither did Penguins forward Jake Guentzel. That’d be a massive rental, plus Guentzel is primarily a left wing, where the Rangers are stacked.

Related: Assessing recent Rangers’ trades ahead of 2024 deadline

Updated trade board for Rangers ahead of 2024 deadline

NHL: Columbus Blue Jackets at San Jose Sharks
Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports Credit: Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

10. Jason Zucker – F – Arizona Coyotes 

Previous: NR

Thinking that the Rangers’ No. 1 need is right wing, Zucker makes this list as another option even though he’s had a miserable season in the desert. Zucker has eight goals in 47 games, and only one each in the months of February and January. But he could be rejuvenated getting out of Arizona and playing on a contender. It was only last season when Zucker scored 27 goals with the Penguins. The Coyotes would have to eat half of his $5.3 million salary cap hit.

9. Joel Edmundson – D – Washington Capitals

Previous: No. 15

A perfect stay-at-home third-pair defenseman, one with a Stanley Cup championship on his resume. There aren’t a lot of left-shot defensemen on the market, so that, coupled with the fact he’s a pending unrestricted free agent owed just $1.75 million with the Montreal Canadiens picking up the other half of his contract, makes Edmundson a very attractive commodity.

8. Alex Wennberg – C – Seattle Kraken

Previous: No. 8

The Rangers reportedly have expressed interest in the two-way center who’s scored one goal in his past 16 games and eight on the season. Wennberg plays on both specialty teams and is averaging 18:42 in ice time, though his offensive production is wanting and his face-off winning percentage is just 46.2 percent. The Kraken would have to pay half his $4.5 million salary before he becomes a UFA at season’s end.

7. Anthony Duclair – RW – San Jose Sharks

Previous: No. 7

There’s been little buzz about Duclair ahead of the deadline. It feels like he’ll be traded, set to become a UFA on an affordable $3 million deal, but is a secondary option for many teams, not a No. 1 priority. The former Rangers forward has 11 goals in 51 games but did score twice against the Columbus Blue Jackets on Feb. 17.

6. Tyler Johnson – F – Chicago Blackhawks

Previous: NR

Johnson was on injured reserve when our original list was posted, so he was unranked. But he has five points (three goals, two assists) in nine games since returning to the lineup and word is the Rangers have checked in on the two-time Stanley Cup winner, who can play center or wing. The 33-year-old makes $5 million on his expiring contract, so Chicago would need to retain half of the money owed, but Johnson could make for an intriguing fit for the Rangers.

Related: Rangers ‘shutting down’ all Brennan Othamnn, Gabe Perreault trade talk

5. – Mikael Granlund – C – San Jose Sharks

Previous: NR

Let’s start with this, Granlund is owed $5 million this season and next. So, that’d be a big commitment on the Rangers part. But he’s the second most attractive center on this trade board. The 32-year-old has 32 points (seven goals, 25 assists) in 43 games, averaging 20:34 in ice time playing in all situations for the Sharks. He’s been a solid postseason player in 59 Stanley Cup Playoff games and would be an excellent fit as the 3C in New York. But the Rangers likely don’t trade for Granlund if they believe Filip Chytil will come back next season after having this season derailed by an upper-body injury believed to be a concussion.

4. Vladimir Tarasenko – RW – Ottawa Senators

Previous: No. 3

Tarasenko only has two goals in his past 11 games but does have 15 goals and 37 points in 53 games overall. There’ll be a bit of a bidding war for the pending UFA, who would love a Rangers reunion. He was a good fit overall as a rental with the Rangers last season and is a Stanley Cup champion. So, he’d be a good fit on Broadway again. That $5 million cap hit would need to be shared, of course.

3. Jordan Eberle – F – Seattle Kraken

Previous: No. 5

Keep hearing that the Rangers are scouting the Kraken a lot. Maybe that’s because of Wennberg. But Eberle is the player they should target. He’s closing in on 300 NHL goals and 1,000 games played, and is hungry to win that elusive Stanley Cup. He has 13 goals and 34 points in 53 games and is a pro’s pro, so could be a good fit on the top line and one of the power-play units. Eberle makes $5.5 million, is a pending UFA and could negotiate a new deal with the Kraken before the trade deadline. But it’s worth finding out what it’d take to land him.

2. Adam Henrique – C – Anaheim Ducks

Previous: No. 1

Henrique falls one spot simply because it appears top-line right wing is New York’s No.1 priority now that Blake Wheeler is out for the season. But make no mistake, the Rangers would be plenty happy to slot Henrique into their 3C spot. The 34-year-old is an excellent two-way player and has 38 points (16 goals, 22 assists) in 57 games, averaging 17:34 in ice time per night. If needed, Henrique could move up into the top six, too. A pending UFA, he makes $5.825 million.

1. Frank Vatrano – RW – Anaheim Ducks

Previous: No. 2

Vatrano swaps spots with his Ducks teammate Henrique, because the Rangers need to fill their hole at right wing. Vatrano is a logical fit but has a year left on his affordable contract and the Ducks are well aware the Rangers would love to bring him back to Broadway. So, it’s not a simple trade to make. But, with his experience and success playing alongside Zibanejad and Kreider, Vatrano is worth the work to get this deal done. All that and we didn’t even mention the NHL All-Star has a career-high 26 goals this season.

Jim Cerny is Executive Editor at Forever Blueshirts and Managing Editor at Sportsnaut, with more than 30 years of... More about Jim Cerny

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