Musings

The NY Rangers aren’t trading the top pick

For the first time in the modern draft era, the Rangers have the first overall selection in the 2020 NHL Draft. Within an hour, there were already trade rumors starting to surface. It was fun to discuss the hypothetical #3 and #5 from Ottawa for the top pick, but that was mostly fan-driven. Let it be clear: The NY Rangers are not trading the top pick.

Alexis Lafreniere is a clear cut above the rest

The reasoning for trading the top pick is if the projected #1 pick isn’t clearly ranked above the rest. That isn’t the case with Lafreniere. It doesn’t take away from players like Tim Stutzle or Quinton Byfield, the projected #2 and #3 picks, it just means Lafreniere is better.

The Rangers will be drafting the best player available. Drafting for need is folly and usually a sure fire way to get a team in trouble. The last time the Rangers drafted for need instead of best player available, they took Dylan McIlrath over Vladimir Tarasenko (and Cam Fowler).

The Rangers would need to be blown away

Even if the Rangers were to entertain an offer, they’d need to be absolutely blown away by it. This goes beyond just Lafreniere the player. This is a cost-controlled, top line winger who is likely set to be a top winger in the game within a couple of years. He will produce well beyond his ELC value. With three seasons projected of a flat cap ceiling, this matters even more than the top pick itself.

With so many projected players on ELCs, the Rangers have a chance to pull off something special. Cap planning takes place years in advance, and with upwards of ten players on ELCs, the Rangers can maneuver properly to keep their key players and top picks around for the foreseeable future.

What is the qualification of “blown away”? Well the #3 and #5 moves the needle, but not enough. The Senators would need to throw in another top prospect. And let’s be real, they won’t do it. The price will be so extraordinarily high that all teams will balk.

And let’s nip this in the bud, the Rangers aren’t trading the pick for an already established NHLer.

Optics matter

Could you believe the outrage if the Rangers traded the pick? This is the first time they’ve ever had the top pick. It’s in one of the best drafts in decades. The best player is clear cut above the rest. This is a slam dunk decision.

Could you imagine trading the #1 for #3 and #5, and then missing on either Byfield or Lucas Raymond? Could you imagine the backlash if the Rangers traded Alexis Lafreniere for just a good 1C or solid 2C? Jeff Gorton would get fired before the fans could stage a Fire Gorton rally outside MSG.

Suffice it to say, the NY Rangers are not going to trade the top pick.

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  • I couldn’t agree more about NOT trading the pick. The Rangers have a horrendous track record of drafting in the first round and anything that moves it from a consensus “no brainer” to one of our famous “off the board” picks (Can anybody say Lias Andersson?) is asking for trouble (Why does Clark still have a job?). As far as the Rangers rebuild goes, the only players that have panned out (so far) are the players we’ve traded for or FAs. Even Kakko hasn’t done much so far but at least he’s a bona fide blue chip prospect. As for the rest of our prospects, let’s not count chickens before they’ve hatched. Maybe this team has an issue “developing” talent? If so, all the more reason for the no brainer that doesn’t need it. Or at least, less.

    • Wow. That is a tough one. Zibby, Eichel and Chytil down the middle is pretty damn good. No need for Strome either. Pencil in Baron as the 4C. Move Kakko up to the first line and Kraftsov on the 3rd line.

      • JoeS.

        You are a thinking man Joe, couldn’t agree more.

        A trade as proposed puts us in a cap hell for years to come, and will force the team to unload young talented players just to get to the cap, no frigging way!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • They can’t trade this pick. You can make arguments for it, but in the end you gotta take Lafreniere. This is a gift.

  • There is no way in hell we trade this pick, especially for the deal proposed by “Creature Feature” for many reasons, especially for the following:

    Eichel @ $10 mil per year
    Breadman @ $8.5 per year
    Zibby will need to be signed to $10 per year
    Kreider @ $6.5 per year
    Trouba @ $8 per year

    For a total of $43 million on these players alone. This is more than half of the cap by itself, then the rest of the story:

    Pay raises coming

    Lemieux
    Kakko (2 years)
    Chytil
    Kravs (2 years)
    Fox next year
    Lindgren next year
    The Czar (2 years)

    This is only 12 players, how do you fit the rest of the roster? We need 23 players, where is the money coming from. Jim Dolan may have deep pockets, but the NHL won’t let him spend any more than any other team. Such a trade is nothing but a pipe dream folks!!!!!!!

    • Slight correction – Shesterkin gets a raise after one year. And because of his age, he is arbitration eligible from the get-go. He also could get an offer sheet. That should be a big contract.

      • Ray

        Thanks for the correction, you also just reinforced my argument.

        Not to put anyone down, but at times some people just put stuff out there to see people react, and or stir the pot. You decide????????????

      • Art Marshall

        ?????????

        Is his contract loaded with bonuses? If so, and we made the deal proposed, we could never sign any quality players down the road…………..EVER

        • Come on Walt, how do you not know that Bread is an eight figure man

          7 year / $81,500,000 contract with the New York Rangers, including a $74,500,000 signing bonus, $81,500,000 guaranteed, and an annual average salary of $11,642,857

  • The difference between Lafreniere and Byfield in my model is the same as Byfield to 10th. 3 & 5 could provide more potential value over the long run, but Lafreniere will slot in the top 6 on day one and wildly outperform his ELC at a time when they’ll need it.

      • Good idea. Not totally sold on Kakko. Until he figures out playing on a smaller ice rink, his struggles may continue. Has he shown some flashes, yes, but he may just be a 20 goal scorer for his career.

      • No, he didn’t say that. He said Lafreniere stands out and the other players are bunched. He says Byfield is halfway between Lafreniere and the tenth guy in the draft.

        • It goes:
          Lafreniere

          Byfield

          Stützle
          Holtz

          Jarvis
          Lundell(whom I actually don’t rate that high, but the model does.
          Foerster(concerned about the skating, model doesn’t model that.)
          Zary
          Perfetti
          Mercer

          Amirov
          Quinn
          Finley
          Bourque
          Chromiak

          Robias
          Brisson
          Mysak
          Khusnutdinov
          Drysdale

          A gap down at 22, then another at 26, then at 30, then 35.

          • Apparently formatting doesn’t allow to give the proper gaps down.

            It goes:
            Lafreniere
            .
            .
            .
            .
            .

            Byfield

            Stützle
            Holtz

            Jarvis
            Lundell(whom I actually don’t rate that high, but the model does.
            Foerster(concerned about the skating, model doesn’t model that.)
            Zary
            Perfetti
            Mercer

            Amirov
            Quinn
            Finley
            Bourque
            Chromiak

            Robias
            Brisson
            Mysak
            Khusnutdinov
            Drysdale

          • Ok thank you.

            So Byfield is #2 for you, but a distant #2 to Lafren. I think that’s fair.

  • Listen up…The Rangers are not trading the number 1 pick…..LeFranchise will be a Ranger for life……….

  • Scene from draft day: Gorton grabbing Clark by the neck and shaking him as Clark starts to try to go “off the board” with the first pick! 😀

  • Before this season everybody agreed Lafreniere was the clear cut #1 choice in 2020, but now that we have the 1st pick there’s all this talk about trading it. Nonsense, we need to pick the BEST draft eligible player … any team would.

  • Why would they trade him? He’s going to possibly be a 20 goal 50 point winger on an ELC. Even 3 pics and/or prospects is a lot more money.
    Just ride it out until 10/09 and Then (correctly) say the name “Laffreniere!!” Not too hard. Keep it simple!

  • “New York Rangers General Manager Jeff Gorton knows what the team needs and he said it after the Blueshirts lost to Carolina. It’s simple, he said the Rangers need to “be a harder team to play against.” There is no doubt that Gorton and Team President John Davidson were perturbed by the way they lost in the Qualifier.”

    This is from an article by Steve Paulus this morning, and I suspect that we will get nastier this season. I have stated before, many times by the way, that we need grit, and an enforcer, who can play and protect the kids. There are changes coming soon, right before, or after the draft, we will get someone to counter the likes of LI’s Martin, Tom Wilson, etc. Bottom, with the skill level we have, we need some muscle to protect the skilled players. This is why I am so excited at the prospect of Barron, and others that are big, strong, and skilled are being signed, to make us a bit tougher. Now get us a Reeves!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Agree that getting tougher is a major need. That is why all this talk about trading Trouba is ridiculous. He was the one dman who was effective against a team like the Canes – big fast straight ahead forwards. Even if Trouba is overpaid he is critical to the back end in the playoffs when the pretty goals mostly vanish and the game is won getting ugly goals around the net. We need more like Trouba, not less. Hopefully Miller can play that role in a few years, maybe Robertson too.

      We are not getting Reaves, (or Eichel for that matter). A lot of wasted energy saying get this player or that when clearly they are not available. Vegas is very happy with Reaves and just gave him an extension. We are going to need to find, or more likely develop, someone like that. If Barron can develop he can add some size and help a bit but he is not the answer; he is more of a Brian Boyle type.

    • The Rangers do need to get tougher but I am not sure Gorton knows how to do that…for the guy who was the “ringleader” in drafting Lucic and Marchand…the Rangers have avoid those type of players since the McIlrath fiasco.

      If you look around the league…there aren’t many of those types around and you would grossly have to overpay to now try to acquire those types.

      Gorton’s two biggest blunders to date…trading Miller and Graves. Those guys had plenty of grit.

  • The golden rule is, the guy with the gold makes the rules. The Rangers are holding the gold. JG and JD have not shown anything in their recent work to even entertain the silliness of trading this pick away.

    —-

    I wonder what # the kid will opt for?

    I like the fact that he already has a nice crop of facial hair… Cuz Kappo, Chytil, Fox and Panarin all combined can’t grow squat… lol

    I can’t wait to see him play against some other specific players in the league…
    i.e. either Tkachuk brother, either Hughes brother

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