Over the weekend, Rangers world lit up with news that the Blueshirts were talking to Tampa Bay about a deal, potentially involving Ryan McDonagh. It was a rumor that came from Elliotte Friedman, which had more fuel added to it when it came to light that Chris Drury was in Syracuse scouting Tampa’s AHL team, the Crunch.
Someone else on the broadcast (I’m drawing a blank here, sorry) mentioned that the Bolts might try to dangle Tyler Johnson in this type of deal. That makes little sense for the Rangers, as they already have Mika Zibanejad and Kevin Hayes with solid center roles, and have Filip Chytil and Lias Andersson on the way. Plus, why would the Blueshirts take on Johnson’s six (!!) remaining years at $5 million, with a full no-trade kicking in next season? The kicker is that Johnson is already oft-injured. No, the Blueshirts would want something totally different from the Bolts.
The first ask from the Blueshirts would be one of Brayden Point or Mikhail Sergachev. Both would be hard no’s from Tampa. Off the roster, I can see the Rangers potentially getting Vlad Namestnikov, who appears to be having a breakout season. Slater Koekkoek is another possibility. Neither on their own is enough to land McDonagh, but would certainly be a starting point.
If we are using the Keith Yandle trade as a frame work (John Moore (young NHLer), Anthony Duclair (close to NHL ready top prospect), 1st, 2nd), then the Rangers would be asking the Bolts to add a prospect and picks to one of Namestnikov or Koekkoek. Cal Foote is the logical prospect, as he was their 2017 first round pick. However Foote is not playing in Syracuse this season, he’s still in the WHL. Ditto Brett Howden, their first rounder in 2016. Neither are close to the NHL.
The name on the Syracuse roster that jumps out at me is Mathieu Joseph, the Bolts’ fourth rounder in 2015. Joseph, a 6’1″, 180 lb RW, is having a fantastic year in Syracuse. He’s the leading scorer on the team, with a line of 8-23-31 in 44 games. He certainly fits the mold of potential top prospect to go with one of Namestnikov or Koekkoek.
Per Dobber Prospects, Joseph is a great skater with borderline elite passing skills. He’s more of a playmaker than a sniper, but is still good at creating space for himself to get looks at the net. He’s a strong kid as well. He’s not NHL ready yet, but could be soon.
Matthew Peca is certainly an interesting name, but the 7th round pick falls in the Tony DeAngelo category of aging-out prospect. He’s 24, and while he does have a nice line in the NHL so far (2-3-5 in 6 games), that’s not enough for McDonagh.
Throw in a 1st round pick, and we are cooking here with the Bolts. Namestnikov or Koekkoek, Joseph, a 1st, and probably a 2nd (just to match the Yandle deal) for McDonagh sounds like a solid framework to me. It fits the market value determined by the Yandle trade in 2015 as well.
There is certainly smoke around the Rangers, Tampa Bay, and Ryan McDonagh. It’s been confirmed by multiple sources. The gut reaction at first glance was the Bolts and Rangers don’t match up. But upon further review, there’s certainly a framework here. Now it’s just a matter of seeing if the deal materializes."Checking in on the Tampa smoke",