If there is one thing Rangers fans know for sure –It ain’t what you don’t know that gets you into trouble. It’s what you know for sure that just ain’t so.– it’s that Kevin Hayes will be traded this season. Signed to a one-year deal that brings him to 27 years old and peak UFA freedom, the writing appears to be on the wall for Hayes that he will be traded. The Rangers are rebuilding, have great center prospects, and Hayes can feasibly fetch a boatload.
Trade value can be a fickle thing though. Hayes is likely a pure rental for any acquiring team, thus the timing of a trade may impact his value. In theory, the sooner the Rangers trade him, the more value they get since the acquiring team has him for more games. That makes sense in theory, but I’m unsure how that impacts true trade value, since we aren’t talking about a full season anymore. We may be talking about two-thirds of a season, or less.
Looking at the trades from last season, there aren’t many trades that involved players comparable to Hayes. The Matt Duchene three-team deal comes to mind. The Senators landed Duchene and it cost them essentially Kyle Turris, a good prospect (Shane Bowers), their 2018 (now 2019) 1st round pick, and a 2018 3rd round pick. It’s a three team deal so it’s tough to really look at this in a vacuum, but that’s basically what Ottawa gave up.
The only trade that strikes me as a comparable is the Paul Stastny trade to Winnipeg. The Blues landed a first round pick and Erik Foley, a pretty decent prospect. Foley was a third round pick that seemed to progress nicely with Providence College. He’s been on season opening IR this year.
If I’m Jeff Gorton, that’s probably the opening price for Hayes. It’s consistent with what has been the norm for a few years now. A top pick and a good prospect. Interestingly enough, Winnipeg has been rumored to be a good fit in Winnipeg. They have a good amount of prospects and are in win-now mode. That’s just one team, and there are a ton that can use a 2C like Hayes.
But to the original question: Does trading Hayes now add value to a deal? I don’t think it will. The market is pretty set when teams are acquiring pure rentals.