What Does Adam Fox Do For The Rangers Prospect Pool?
Ladies and gentlemen, Jeff Gorton has done it again. On Tuesday, Gorton struck a deal that we all expected to happen when he acquired Adam Fox.
For those of you unfamiliar with Fox, he is a right shot defenseman, unicorns as I call them, who just finished up his junior year at Harvard. He had a marvelous season, compiling 48 points in 33 games, and was a Hobey Baker award finalist losing to Cale Makar – no arguing there. Many experts consider Fox to be the third best defensive prospect in all of hockey behind only Cale Makar and Quinn Hughes; all three guys that played in the NCAA.
Many feel that Jeff Gorton gave up too much for a guy who most likely would have come to Broadway next summer when his rights expired. Gorton gave up pick number 37 in the 2019 draft, and a conditional third round pick that turns into a second round pick if Fox plays 30 games in 2019, which he likely will. So, in my eyes, Gorton gave up two second round picks for the third best defensive prospect in hockey – yeah, I am just fine with it. Not to mention, his ELC will be a three-year deal, as opposed to a two-year deal he would have gotten if he came over next summer as a free-agent. It’s also possible Fox has a change of heart between now and then, so I give Gorton an “A” for yet another great move securing something sooner rather than later.
So what does the 21-year-old Long Island native do for the Rangers prospect pool both defensively and overall? Fox instantly becomes the Rangers’ top defensive prospect hopping two very good ones in K’Andre Miller and Nils Lundkvist. Fox, as mentioned before and unlike Miller and Lundkvist, will be on the opening night roster and play in well over 30 games for the Blueshirts, but for now he is still a prospect. As per The Athletic, heading into the 2018-2019 season, the Rangers had the 11th ranked prospect pool in all of hockey, jumping from nearly dead last a couple of seasons prior. The prospect pool graduated two top prospects in Filip Chytil and Lias Andersson last year, but it is a pool still headlined by Vitali Kravtov, Igor Shestyorkin, K’Andre Miller, Nils Lundkvist, and Yegor Rykov. The Rangers have now added the third best defensive prospect in hockey, will add one of the two in Jack Hughes or Kaapo Kakko (most likely Kakko), another very good prospect with the Winnipeg’s first round pick, another possible first round pick from Dallas, and a plethora of other picks as well.
With the additions of those prospects to an already top-12 pool, I see the Rangers having an undoubted top-five stable of prospects in all of hockey heading into the 2019-2020 season. When Gorton began this rebuild, he constantly reiterated the ideas of “compiling assets” and “being flexible”. This trade is a combination of both, as was the move up for Miller at the 2018 draft. Gorton moved pieces around compiling picks and prospects, and started making packages of them to move up in drafts, and like he did on Tuesday, move them for a top-notch prospect – who just so happens to be a right handed defenseman. Jeff Gorton and Rangers brass have done a fantastic job in turning this team around in such a short period by restocking the shelves with some very good prospects.