Yesterday afternoon, the Rangers bolstered their blue line prospect depth by acquiring Adam Fox from the Carolina Hurricanes in exchange for their 2019 2nd rounder (#37) and a conditional 3rd rounder next season. If Fox plays 30 games with the Rangers, it will be a 2nd round pick. Fox, a former 3rd round pick from Calgary, is very highly touted and is a local kid from Jericho. Let’s jump right in.
1. There are concerns that the Rangers overpaid a lot for Fox. Here’s the thing though, the chances of the Rangers grabbing a prospect like Fox with either the #37 pick this year or whatever pick next year are very slim. It’s the Blueshirts going for quality over quantity, which is what they need to do at this juncture. After making 30 picks the last three years, they had some to burn. This works for me.
2. Fox is expected to make the team next year, which is probably going to turn that 3rd rounder into a 2nd rounder. The Rangers had the luxury of ensuring that Fox was theirs and would sign with them. The two draft picks are the mystery box. Fox is Fox. Take the established 21 year old defenseman who is likely to make a difference next year. The two picks wouldn’t even sniff the NHL roster for 3-4 years.
3. This is a step in the Jeff Gorton acceleration of the rebuild. It’s not a huge step, but it’s a step nonetheless. Fox is already better than every RD on the roster not named Kevin Shattenkirk, and he may not even be on the roster come the draft. Larry Brooks mentioned that Shatty’s days are numbered, and while he, Fox, and Tony DeAngelo make a solid RD trio, Shatty will likely waive his NMC to play for a contender and chase that Cup. The Blueshirts can eat some salary and get a decent return too.
4. While Fox is an upgrade on the right side, if Shatty is traded it still means that Neal Pionk will be getting meaningful minutes. He may look better on the bottom pair, and may get better results, but he’s still not an NHL quality defenseman. At least not based on the past season. Fox is still better than no Fox, so an upgrade is an upgrade.
5. I mentioned this on Twitter, but I think this takes the Rangers out of the running for Jacob Trouba. A RD trio of Trouba, ADA, and Fox would be stellar, but I think the Rangers view Pionk as a legitimate defenseman, which is just upsetting. The team has a major blue line talent evaluation problem, but at least they got Fox right.
6. Fox, DeAngelo, Libor Hajek, K’Andre Miller, Nils Lundkvist, Jacob Ragnarsson, Joey Keane, Calle Sjalin (if healthy), Sean Day, Tarmo Reunanen. That’s one helluva list of defense prospects. Not all are going to hit, but there’s significant depth there. The Blueshirts acquired a ton of young assets the past three years. Some are depth guys, but Fox is in the upper echelon of prospects with Miller and Lundkvist.
7. The Blueshirts now have four of the top-50 ESPN top prospects: #11 in Vitali Kravtsov, #30 in Fox, #33 in Igor Shestyorkin, and #37 in Miller. Plus Kaapo Kakko coming in six weeks. The future is incredibly bright on Broadway.