It did not take long for the number one player in the hockey world (and the first overall pick in the BEARD Dispersal Draft) to get dealt.
22 games is what it took, to be exact (now 23).
So how do you justify such a deal if you are the New York Rangers? Well the return was significant. Let’s have a look at the full package of players and picks moving:
To New York:
To San Jose
2nd round pick (2021)
Two 3rd round picks (2022)
The big draw here is that the Rangers acquired one of the top lines in all of BEARD Hockey. I repeat….they acquired an entire high end line. Scheifele and Huberdeau have actually outscored McDavid and are locked up for 7 combined years.
Timo Meier has also scored near a 'McDavid' rate and is under team control for 7 seasons.
Noah Dobson and Vitali Kravtsov are really solid young players with high potential meaning they could contribute for the Blue Shirts in the near future.
There is no doubt that McDavid is the best player in the deal, and Anisimov and Dillon played a role on the team. But the depth of the forward lines is really impressive and should be among the best groups in the league.
Here is a look at how the lines are expected to start out.
Line 1: Huberdeau / Scheifele / Meier
Line 2: Kreider / Hischer / Drouin
Line 3: Duclair / Foligno / Zadina
Line 4: Cogliano / Paul / Stewart
You’ll notice all three new forwards will play with each other to start. Why fix what isn’t broken? Having familiar faces to play with is expected to lessen the shock of getting traded. Having Kreider and Drouin next to Hischer will be the bigger adjustment. Both of the wingers have played well at times but have lacked consistency.
Zadina does not deserve to be knocked down a line but he has been cold lately and could find a spark playing with new line mates. If not, he could find himself back on the second line.
The only change on the blueline is Dillon out and Dobson in. Dillon was a nice steadying presence for the blue line but his $5 million expiring contract had to be included in the deal to make the money work.
Dobson and Boqvist are likely to start together on the 3rd pairing but if they struggle too heavily they could be split to pair with a more steadying presence. If they were split this is what it could look like:
D pairing 1: Doughty / Sergachev
D pairing 2: Chychrun / Boqvist
D pairing 3: Hronek / Dobson
Not saying this is set in stone bit it does provide some shelter to each of the youngsters if they get caved in during sheltered minutes on the 3rd pairing. Of note, aside from Drew Doughty, this D group has some of the highest potential in the league and could be one of the best units now and into the future.
All in all, this was a bold move made by the Rangers. There is no doubt that McDavid is going to continue to terrorize opposing teams for years to come. But the reward was worth the risk in the eyes of GM Sean McAndrews.
This wasn’t a “push your chips into the middle and win now” move, as there is enough upside and youth in the deal to make this one too difficult to pass-up.
Losing McDavid is certainly tough, and we wish him well in San Jose. But this deal should make the Rangers a powerhouse now and for years to come (knock on wood!).