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Rangers Deadline Primer and Futures Report

The Big Apple has seen a Rangers club struggle to reach its potential this year. But the future is bright, and may be here far sooner than most think.

The season has not gone as expected for the New York Rangers.

Despite receiving a massive haul for Connor McDavid, the team struggled to get results resulting in key parts of that deal also leaving to bring in Leon Draisaitl and a large number of quality prospects.

The Rangers actually are one win off from the final wild card team, the Carolina Hurricanes, with 23 regulation wins - but the shootout and "loser points" have favoured their Eastern rivals. The Rangers are currently 10 points out and would have to leap frog 5 teams to secure a spot.

This means the team has the look of a clear seller. So let’s look at the current roster and speculate who could be on the move.

Line 1: Timo Meier / Leon Draisaitl / Chris Kreider

Line 2: Filip Zadina / Nico Hischer / Jonathan Drouin

Line 3: Philip Tomasino / Max Domi / Alexander Holtz

Line 4: Chris Stewart / Andrew Cogliano

At the time of writing this article, Andrew Cogliano is already reportedly on his way out so he is the most likely to move and his line mates could certainly move as well as useful depth pieces for a playoff team.

The 3rd line features Domi who has been a point per game player since joining the Rangers and is known to be a favourite of GM Sean McAndrews. His line-mates are high-end young players and are unlikely to go anywhere this year.

Out of the top 6 there is reportedly a lot of interest in Drouin who has had some solid production, is versatile playing boith wings, and has a very nice contract at $2.5M for 4 years. With a four year deal in hand there is no rush to move him but if a big offer came with some high-end young talent, the Rangers might be tempted to add to the their considerable prospect capital.

Draisaitl is not going anywhere unless a McDavid type deal comes along, Kreider has a no-trade clause, Meier is just scratching the surface of what he can do, and Zadina and Hischer have produced well and are young with high upside. In other words, Drouin might move out of the top 6 but don’t expect much else.

Next let’s look at the D.

Pairing 1: Doughty / Sergachev

Pairing 2: Stone / Hronek

Pairing 3: Boqvist / Dobson / DeKeyser

The defense was not performing great before shipping out steady Finn Olli Maatta and including Jakub Chychrun in the Draisaitl deal. It could get worse if a long rumoured deal materializes for Drew Doughty.

A lot of people are wondering why Doughty hasn’t been moved but the asking price is considered to be very high and his contract is difficult to wedge into the cap for some teams. He could still be moved in the right deal but Rangers management also wouldn’t mind him eating up tough minutes while some of the youth on the blue-line matures.

Stone and DeKeyser could move if someone wants them but the other players aren’t likely to move.

In goal, Semyon Varlamov has not played well despite having really strong ratings but true #1 goalies are hard to come by. If a contender sees him as an upgrade and believes he will perform better for their team he could be moved but the Rangers would likely want a solid goalie coming back.

So we’ve looked at what could be going out. What could be coming back?

One could assume that if veterans are shipped it would be for more and more youth and that could be true but the recent deals have already added so much there. The Rangers strategy is likely to restock the cupboards quickly through these deals and then look to add some proven NHL talent through free agency or using some prospect/draft capital in trades.

Their top 6 forwards are still very high end and with a little more time to gel results could be better. Look for the bottom 6 to be filled by some of the youth as it progresses. With the contracts that have moved out the Rangers have cap space to spend. The defense will need a lot of work, especially if Doughty is traded, but there should be some solid veterans coming available in the offseason.

In short, the Rangers could look to add some more youth for depth but may be content to sit on their most valuable veterans remaining on the roster unless they are blown away. The Rangers have been involved in a lot of big deals already and may have got most of their business out of the way ahead of the deadline.

We thought it would be interesting to look at their biggest deal of the year and the “trade tree” that resulted. Here is a look at the assets that came in from the McDavid deal. Picks not included as a 1st came in and a 2nd and two 3rds went out so considered relatively even overall.

Trade 1: McDavid, Anisimov, Dillon for Scheifele, Hubredeau, Meier, Dobson, Kravtsov

Trade 2: Scheifele, Chychrun for Draisaitl, Domi

Trade 3: Huberdeau for Ty Smith, Soderstrom, Zary, Tomasino

Let’s add that all up:

Out from Rangers

Connor McDavid

Artem Anisimov

Brendan Dillon

Jakub Chychrun

In For Rangers:

Leon Drasaitl

Max Domi

Timo Meier

Noah Dobson

Vitali Kravtsov

Ty Smith

Victor Soderstrom

Connor Zary

Phillip Tomasino

Losing McDavid and Chychrun was very tough as both are great players and only going to get better. But the high-end talent coming back in Draisaitl, Meier, and Domi is reasonable compensation especially when you consider the 5 players with high upside (lowest potential is Ty Smith with 87 but he is having a solid NHL rookie season).

All told, after these deals and several others, the Rangers are absolutely stacked with youth and can choose to develop it all or move some for proven NHL talent if their fortunes improve next season.

Here is a full look at the prospect pipeline. This is for created players and excludes high-end prospects like recently acquired Dylan Holloway. Each player is listed with PO in brackets

• Alexander Holtz - RW (94)

• Philip Broberg - D (93)

• Vitaly Kravtsov - RW (91)

• Philip