Speculation had been mounting all week that the New York Rangers were looking move backup goaltender Cam Talbot to clear cap space and acquire draft picks, but as the 2015 NHL Draft began on Friday the Rangers stood pat and round one finished without a peep. However, by the time the draft had finished Saturday the Rangers had made four trades that saw both Talbot and restricted free agent Carl Hagelin traded for a handful of draft picks, as the Blueshirts not only cleared the space they needed for this offseason but refill their farm system as well.

While the Rangers couldn’t pry a first rounder out of Edmonton (as had been rumored), Talbot did land with the Oilers along with the 209th pick of the draft for the 57th, 79th, and the 184th picks. The Rangers then traded the 57th pick to the Washington Capitals for the 62th and 113th picks. Hagelin, arguably the biggest surprise of the day, was traded along with the 59th and 179th picks for third-year forward Emerson Etem and the 41st pick of the draft, which the Rangers used on forward Ryan Gropp, who became their first pick in the draft after having none in the first round. They also traded forward Ryan Haggerty to Chicago for backup goaltender Antti Raanta to replace Talbot.

GettyImages-478754576.0The players the Rangers took probably won’t be seen at Madison Square Garden for at least two years, but with five of their seven picks coming on the offensive side of the ice, the Rangers are hoping they have found some quality scorers for their future. Gropp was his team’s leading scorer in only his second full season, on a team that played most of the season without two of its top three goal-scorers. Robin Kovacs, taken with the 62nd pick, was the top scorer of his AIK Stockholm pro team, with a total of 19 goals and 35 points in 62 games while posting a -4 for a team that almost found itself being relegated. The 79th pick brought in defenseman Sergey Zborovskiy of the WHL’s Regina Pats, while the 113th pick added center Brad Morrison, who has a strong work ethic, along with plenty of speed and athleticism. Etem, acquired from Anaheim, is going to have to improve if he’s to fit into the Rangers plans. He profiles as someone who could play well on a line with Chris Kreider, and is thought of as an elite skater with good speed and quality possession abilities, he has yet to develop any consistency to his game in the pros. He is also a restricted free agent, but one that should be cheaper to resign than Hagelin. Raanta was 7-4-1 with a .936 save percentage and 1.89 goals-against average in 14 games last season, and has a career record of 20-9-5 in 39 career games.

The Rangers made out well in these trades, given that their main objective was to clear cap space and bring in prospects for two or three years down the line. While they now have more than $13 million in cap space it comes at a heavy cost. Talbot could end up as the Oilers answer to their long-running goalie problems, which would loom larger if something were to happen to Henrik Lunqvist this year. In losing Hagelin they lose one of their most popular players, in addition to one of their most reliable over the last few years. And on Saturday it was also announced that Martin St. Louis will not be returning to the Rangers, which means one more scorer will need to be replaced. But in terms of things they can control, the Rangers made out decently overall during the draft.

Related Posts:

 
 

0 Comments

You can be the first one to leave a comment.

Leave a Comment