What is Mats Zuccarello worth for the Rangers at the draft?
I would like to say that I personally do not believe that Zuc should be shipped off during this upcoming entry draft. But, If it were to be him, these are some situations that could arise with his departure from the New York Rangers.
Should he be dealt to move up, or maybe to grab someone of similar caliber with a few more years left on his wheels? These are two interesting situations, and situations that could help bring this team back to playoff potential.
Again, Zuccarello should be a staple for these crucial upcoming years and a leader of this club. But, if push comes to shove and a monumental deal can be made to make the Rangers even better without Zucc, then it should be done.
We, as the Blueshirt Faithful, have seen our fair share of fan favorites being moved. Ryan Callahan, Ryan McDonagh, Derek Stepan and Marian Gaborik were all favorite players of a lot of Rangers fans in the past few years. They were all moved to different teams and with that, we had to find different players to love. Moving on from “ZUCC” will be hard at first, but we will all move on.
Well….maybe not everyone.
— Forever Blueshirts (@4EverBlueshirts) June 15, 2018
Moving up from number nine is certainly a possibility with trading Zuccarello and another one of the Rangers nine picks this draft. It may have to take one of the later first round picks or possibly a second rounder to eclipse the top 5.
Getting a Top 5 pick from either Arizona or Ottawa can certainly be arranged for the persistence that Zuccarello shows on the ice. There is a plethora of talent on the wings in this draft with Filip Zadina, Brady Tkachuk, Jesperi Kotkaniemi (C/W) and Oliver Wahlstrom.
Having a chance to acquire one of these elite prospects and growing them for when it’s time to compete for a championship would be worth it.
Younger Proven Talent
Not to say that Zuccarello hasn’t proved himself in his Rangers career, because he certainly has. But it could be beneficial going out and getting someone as good or better, that is a bit younger and can grow with this young group.
Zuccarello will be hitting the age of 31 once the season rolls around in October, as well as entering the final year of his $4.5 million contract. The Rangers could look to find someone who can dish out 30 dimes a season, with less wear on his frame.
The Rangers have a ton of Cap Space with close to $30 Million. The possibilities are endless in terms of selling Zuccarello and acquiring a talent that the Rangers can re-sign later on.
Some players that could be exchanged with Zuccarello could be Alex DeBrincat of Chicago, Mark Stone of Ottawa and Bryan Rust of Pittsburgh. Each of these wingers have great playing ability and are much younger than Zuccarello.
Staying with the Rangers
This team is in a rebuilding phase with a ton of young, inexperienced and uncharted players. There is a select few on this roster at the moment, that can be considered a leader for this group. I dived into that in my last article on the new leadership core under Coach Quinn.
Spoiler alert: Zuccarello is a leader on that list.
He has been the leading scorer over the past three seasons and been key all over the ice. Forecheck, Backcheck and a keen ability to dish the puck is seen nightly from Zucc.
He provides leadership to his younger linemates and teammates, and that is something the Rangers are desperately lacking. Keeping him after this upcoming season and letting him teach the youth for the rebuild is the right move.