Why The Rangers NEED TO Pursue Adam Fox’s Rights
Adam Fox’s name has popped up a lot recently around the hockey world. His season was ended on March 29th, and it was a marvelous one. Fox, who just finished his junior year at Harvard, is very likely going to be a Hobey Baker finalist for the best player in NCAA hockey; an award current Ranger Jimmy Vesey won just a few years ago. Fox finished his junior year with 48 points in 33 games, and a +23. He is currently, in my opinion, a top 5 defensive prospect in hockey and Gorton should find a way to get his hands on him now.
When Fox was drafted by the Calgary Flames in 2016, he made it very clear that he would than not sign his ELC with them. After spending two full years at Harvard, he was moved in a mega-deal last summer to the Carolina Hurricanes; a deal that included a multitude of big time names such as Noah Hanifin, Dougie Hamilton, and Elias Lindholm. Fox’s rights were a part of that deal in hopes that Carolina would be able to sign him.
Now with his junior year over, Fox seems to be on the fence about signing with the Canes. The reason for that, in many people’s opinions, is because he feels he will not fit on their blue line. The Hurricanes are stacked to say the least on their blue line, and Fox probably feels he will not get the playing time he deserves. I believe Fox is a bonafide top-4 defenseman with top pair ceiling; he will not able to get those minutes in Carolina with the names they have their in their top-4. So what can Carolina do to ensure they don’t lose Fox, a top-notch prospect, for nothing?
For those who are unaware of how the draft process works, when a North American player is drafted, he has four years to sign his ELC. Fox chose to go the NCAA route for development, which is not a pro league. In his case, if Fox were to play out his four years of college, after his senior year he would be free to sign anywhere. The only difference is that his ELC would be a 2-year contract opposed to a 3-year contract.
The best comparison to what would happen to Fox is Jimmy Vesey. Vesey was drafted by the Predators then had his rights traded to the Sabres. He chose not to sign with either team, play his entire collegiate career of four years, become a UFA, and sign a 2-year ELC with the Rangers. Some other notable names that went this route recently were Drake Caggiula, Ryan Donato, and Will Butcher. More likely than not, Fox will not sign his ELC with Carolina this summer and go back to Harvard his senior year and take the Vesey route…..unless someone swoops in to grab his rights. That team believe it or not, should be the Rangers and here’s why.
Adam Fox is a Jericho, NY boy who grew up loving the Rangers. He constantly talks about his love for them and how they were an impact on him growing up. If the Rangers were to not trade for his rights this summer and Fox went back to college for his final year and became a UFA in the summer of 2020, I believe the Rangers would be the front-runner to land him.
The Rangers blue line is currently in a state of transition and Fox could insert right into their top-4 in his rookie year; not a bad deal for a 21-year-old. But why not get him now? If Gorton were to make a play for Fox, it probably would not cost very much. Maybe a low-level prospect in the system and a 3rd round pick, or one of the multiple 2nd round picks they have. If the Rangers got his rights this summer, Fox would sign his ELC with them, and be in their top-4 opening night in October of 2019. If a trade were to be in place for Fox, I believe the Rangers would ensure that he signs his ELC with them this summer.
Here’s a quote from the great Pierre LeBrun in an article written about Fox’s future on March 29th, 2019.
“If Fox decides not to sign with Carolina, I would expect the ’Canes to explore the trade market. The New York Rangers are among the teams believed to be interested in his services and really, it comes down to where Fox would want to play. No team would trade for him without knowing they could sign him.”
Just think of it like this: A New York native, playing for the New York Rangers, at Madison Square Garden in a top-4 defensive role……not many kids get to live out that dream. Hopefully he has better luck than Kevin Shattenkirk.