Rangers’ Top Players to Target and Avoid at 2023 NHL Trade Deadline

Rangers’ Top Players to Target and Avoid at 2023 NHL Trade Deadline

NASHVILLE, TN - JANUARY 21: Nashville Predators left wing Nino Niederreiter (22), of Switzerland, is shown during the NHL game between the Nashville Predators and Los Angeles Kings, held on January 21, 2023, at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Danny Murphy/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Danny Murphy/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Chicago Blackhawks star Patrick Kane was once viewed as a top target for the Rangers this winter, but now that the franchise has Tarasenko on board, it’s unclear if it will still pursue the winger.

ESPN’s Emily Kaplan reported on Feb. 9 that the Rangers had concerns over Kane’s hip injury and they didn’t want to meet Chicago’s asking price for him, so making a move seems like a bit of a pipe dream at this point.

However, a conflicting report from Larry Brooks of the New York Post on Feb. 22 indicated that the Rangers “have signaled they will try to make” a deal for the 34-year-old work if he is willing to waive his no-movement clause.

Kaplan also added that the Rangers have balked at the asking price for San Jose Sharks right wing Timo Meier, so he shouldn’t be viewed as a target for New York at this point.

Aside from Kane and Meier, there are plenty of talented players the Rangers can add ahead of the deadline.

If they’re going to subtract from the roster in order to add some high-end talent, the Rangers have a number of assets they could offload, including pending restricted free agents Vitali Kravtsov (forward) and Zac Jones (defenseman), in addition to first-, second- and third-round picks in the 2023 draft.

That said, here are a couple of players the Rangers may want to consider adding.

Luke Schenn, D, Vancouver Canucks

The Rangers have two solid defensive pairings in Ryan Lindgren-Adam Fox and K’Andre Miller-Jacob Trouba, but the team’s third pairing of Niko Mikkola-Braden Schneider could use an upgrade.

Enter Luke Schenn, who is on the trade block with the Vancouver Canucks 16 points back of a playoff spot.

Schenn is your prototypical physical, shutdown defenseman and would be a significant upgrade on New York’s third defensive pairing. He has three goals and 18 assists in 55 games, as well as a plus-nine plus/minus rating on a Vancouver team that has a minus-35 goal differential.

Additionally, the 33-year-old won back-to-back Stanley Cups with the Tampa Bay Lightning in 2020 and 2021, and his $850,000 cap hit would also fit into New York’s $1.6 million deadline cap space.

Schenn is set to become an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season and would be a rental for the Blueshirts.

Nino Niederreiter, RW, Nashville Predators

If Kravtsov—who reportedly requested a trade—is moved, the Rangers could use another right winger behind Tarasenko.

Aside from Kravtsov and Tarasenko, New York has Jimmy Vesey, Kaapo Kakko and Tyler Motte on the right wing. It’s not a horrible situation by any means, but the Blueshirts could still use an upgrade.

Considering both Kane and Meier are iffy options, the Rangers could look to Nashville Predators winger Nino Niederreiter, who is on a reasonable two-year, $8 million contract worth $4 million per season.

Predators general manager David Poile told 102.5 The Game’s Robby and Rexrode show on Feb. 14 that he didn’t view Nashville as a buyer at this year’s deadline and that if the team didn’t improve it “certainly could be a seller.”

The Preds sit fifth in the Central Division with a 28-22-6 record, and with just 60 points, the team is well out of a wild-card spot.

Niederreiter has posted six 20-plus-goal seasons in his 12 NHL seasons and tallied at least 11 goals in four of the six other campaigns. Through 55 games this season, he has notched 16 goals and 10 assists for 26 points.

The 30-year-old’s 16 goals are more than any other right winger on the team.

Additionally, the checking winger would be a great play-driver who can get to the dirty areas and grind for a goal. He’s the type of player the Rangers definitely need this season.

However, Niederreiter’s $4 million salary could be difficult to maneuver under the cap unless the team parts ways with another name.

Kravtsov ($875,000) Vesey ($750,000), Ben Harpur ($750,000) and Zac Jones ($925,000) could be moved to clear some space, though the Rangers can’t gut their right side by trading Kravtsov and Vesey to make room for one player.

Read More

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *