During Saturday night’s loss to St. Louis, Elliotte Friedman mentioned that the Rangers are now listening to offers for goalie Alex Georgiev. This shouldn’t be a surprise, as Henrik Lundqvist is going to retire a Ranger (probably) and Igor Shesterkin is looking to be the heir apparent. That just doesn’t leave room for Georgiev, and the Rangers are doing the right thing by maximizing value of their asset.
Georgiev is going to have a healthy NHL career. He’s only 23 years old and has solidified himself as an NHL starter. His numbers aren’t sexy, but he’s also on a pretty bad Rangers team. GMs looking for a young, potential long-term solution in net are going to be calling the Rangers. The question is going to be cost, as the Rangers are reportedly looking for a young NHL ready forward. There aren’t many teams that can front that cost. But there are some that can.
Toronto Maple Leafs
The Georgiev to the Leafs joke has been going around for a while, but with Frederik Andersen’s recent struggles and the Leafs Stanley Cup aspirations, the Leafs could view Georgiev as a long term solution. After all, Andersen is 30 years old and the Leafs will need someone cost controlled at least through the end of that contract.
As for the return, Jeremy Bracco’s name has been mentioned a lot. There hasn’t been anyone like Friedman mentioning his name, it’s more the rumor mill and putting the logical pieces together. Bracco, 22, is a former second round pick and a Long Island native. The RW is in the last year of his ELC playing with the Toronto Marlies. He’s certainly more of a playmaker, with a line of 3-25-28 in 36 games this season. Last year he put up 22-57-79 in 75 games. He’s on the cusp and the Leafs are crowded in their top-nine.
The Leafs also have picks in all rounds except the first and fifth this year, with multiple picks in rounds 4, 6, and 7 if they need to add. But would the Rangers want to see him in the conference for the next decade?
San Jose Sharks
This season may be lost for the Sharks, but that roster is still loaded and they could look at their goaltending woes as the reason why they are awful this year. Martin Jones has been downright bad, but the Sharks are committed to him for another four years at $5.75 million. With an aging core and a lot of big contracts, a goalie could be viewed as the missing piece for one last kick at the can. Plus the move can be sold as a move with an eye on the future.
As for the return, the Sharks have a bare system. Alex Chmelevski is one of their better prospects, with back-to-back 75 point seasons int he OHL before jumping to the AHL this year. The 20 year old center has a line of 6-8-14 with the San Jose Barracuda. Jonathan Dahlen, their 2nd rounder from 2016, is a name that’s been mentioned on social media as well. He’s currently on loan in Sweden (Timra IK – Allsvenskan) and is tearing up Sweden’s second tier league.
Whether or not Chmelevski or Dahlen are what the Rangers view as close to NHL ready remains to be seen.
The Flames are a wild card here because outside of Cam Talbot, who at 32 is far from a long-term solution in net. Calgary has a pretty young roster, and while goaltending hasn’t been an issue yet, the tandem of Talbot and David Rittich likely isn’t going to be with this core long-term. They have Dustin Wolf, but he’s years away and goalies are very difficult to project.
Calgary is pretty barren in their farm system as well, with very few legitimate prospects that are close to the NHL. Maybe Adam Ruzicka? He’s skilled but wildly inconsistent. Calgary is a true wild card here, but I don’t think they have the pieces to get it done – unless Dillon Dube is in play.
One last wild card – and that’s the Oilers. Edmonton oddly committed to Mikko Koskinen long(ish)-term this offseason with a three year deal at a $4.5 million cap hit. He’s not sporting sexy numbers, and goals against is a big problem for the Oilers. The problem is that the new regime in Edmonton is hard to read, and it’s no longer an easy win with Peter Chiarelli at the helm.
In terms of NHL ready forwards, Kailer Yamamoto is the name everyone will gravitate towards. The C/RW has 32 games in the NHL, but has really clicked this year through six games (2-3-5). The 21-year-old certainly fits the mold of what the Rangers are looking for. Is Georgiev enough to pry him from Edmonton?