Very early 2024 NHL Trade Deadline targets for New York Rangers
Although the New York Rangers are off to a blazing start, teams are always looking at ways to improve their roster. With a record of 11-2-1 and a five-point lead in the Metropolitan Division, it is hard to ask for much more from the Blueshirts thus far.
That being said, there are still areas in the lineup that could use improvement or added depth pieces. When it comes to making a push for a Stanley Cup, you can never have too much help. At this time, the Rangers should be able to add around $3 million in salary at the trade deadline. It’s not much, but enough to work with, especially if a selling team is willing to retain salary.
The Rangers and General Manager Chris Drury are no strangers to making a splash at the trade deadline. Is it possible that Drury may look to bring back some familiar faces for a chance at redemption? Or does he add more depth pieces to bolster the defense and bottom six? It’s also possible that he remains quiet if the Rangers can keep up this pace. No need to fix what isn’t broken.
Let’s take a look at some very early potential trade targets for the New York Rangers.
New York Rangers Trade Deadline Targets:
Vladimir Tarasenko (RW, Ottawa Senators)
It is clear through the first 14 games of the season that the Rangers may need some help at the right wing position. A reunion with Vladimir Tarasenko could be the answer in order to boost scoring from the right side. If the Ottawa Senators are willing to retain 50% or of Tarasenko’s $5 million cap hit, Chris Drury can absolutely make this happen. After last year’s disappointing playoff exit in the first round, it is fair to say that Tarasenko might be interested in giving it another run with a new coach and new system that seems to be firing on all cylinders.
So far this season, Tarasenko has 3 goals and 10 assists for 13 points in 14 games played. He also has a plus/minus of +10, which is impressive considering Ottawa is 7-7-0 with a team goal differential of +7. After being offered a long-term contract from Ottawa and opting for a one-year deal, it is plausible that Tarasenko is willing to move to a cup-contending team. So far, the Rangers have proven to be just that.
Frank Vatrano (RW, Anaheim Ducks)
Another familiar face could be an interesting target for the Rangers. The Anaheim Ducks right winger is off to a hot start this season. In 16 games he has 11 goals and 5 assists. If he continues at this pace, he will surpass 50 goals. This is another player who can bring some much needed scoring to the right wing position, plus he had chemistry with Chris Kreider and Mika Zibanejad when he was here.
Vatrano has a cap hit of $3.65 million, and is a much friendlier number to take on, but it is worth noting that the 29 year-old has another year left on his contract. While a reunion would be great, it wouldn’t bode well for Kaapo Kakko’s future if he’s acquired, since Vatrano isn’t a standard UFA rental. But if the Rangers are willing to part ways with someone like Barclay Goodrow, finding the cap space to fit in Vatrano won’t be too difficult.
Victor Olofsson (RW, Buffalo Sabres)
Off to a slow start this season, Buffalo may be looking to move Victor Olofsson, who will be a UFA in July. After scoring 28 goals and 40 points last season, he is another player who could help the Rangers down the stretch. His cap hit of $4.75 million is not so friendly, but not impossible to work around. The 28-year-old forward has just 3 points this season, but could be a solid third line right wing for the Blueshirts.
Jakob Silfverberg (RW, Anaheim Ducks)
Silfverberg has been a mainstay on the Anaheim Ducks roster. However, he is off to a slow start this season. With only 4 points in 16 games, the Ducks should be willing to ship the pending UFA elsewhere. He would be a solid depth player for the Rangers and bring 752 games of experience to the lineup. However, his cap hit of $5.25 million means that Anaheim would have to retain significant salary for sure.
Kasperi Kapanen (RW, St. Louis Blues)
This pending UFA could be an intriguing option for the Rangers. The 27-year-old forward has 7 points in 15 games for the St. Louis Blues this season. He is a highly skilled player who can bring speed and scoring to the right wing. With a cap hit of $3.2 million, it is a contract the Rangers would be able to take on with minimal salary retention from the Blues. After scoring 44 points in the 2018-2019 season, Kapanen has been on a steady decline. However, he still has plenty of offensive upside.
Nicolas Aube-Kubel (RW, Washington Capitals)
To round out the depth of the forward lines, the Rangers may look to bring in a player like Kubel. With 3 points in only 3 games this season, the aging Capitals may opt to move the pending UFA for younger blood even if they are in a playoff spot. He would be a good fit in the Rangers bottom six and could step up in case of injury. His cap hit of $1.225 million is more than affordable at the deadline. A move for someone of this caliber and cap hit to bolster depth and gear up for the playoffs is usually more likely than going for big free agent rentals with very little cap space.