The Rangers draft day this week is expected to be quiet, which is a little unfortunate given the strength of the draft. They do, however, still have their first round pick for now. After that, they only have picks in the third, fifth, and sixth (2) rounds. It’ll likely be a quiet draft day, at least in terms of picks, for the Blueshirts. But there are other ways to make a splash. With the coaching staff set, the next step is to get the roster in order.

There are only a few true rumors regarding the Rangers, mostly about Barclay Goodrow’s future with the Rangers. The salary cap is only going up $1 million as expected, so the Rangers have just $11.7 million in cap space to re-sign Alexis Lafreniere, K’Andre Miller, and possibly Tyler Motte, while also filling out the rest of the roster. That’s not an easy task.

Assuming the Rangers re-sign Motte, and not accounting for a Goodrow trade/buyout just yet, the Blueshirts will need to fill at least 2 forward spots, possibly 1 defenseman, and 1 backup goalie. That’s on top of re-signing Miller and Lafreniere.

The best estimates have that duo costing the Rangers $7 million combined on bridge deals. Assuming $1.5 million for a backup goalie and Zac Jones ($812k), there isn’t much space to work with.

This is why most rumors are around Goodrow, whom I’m not entirely convinced the Rangers need to attach a pick to in order to trade. Sure, teams will try to leverage the situation, but that doesn’t mean they will succeed. This isn’t the Patrik Nemeth situation, where he had bad numbers and looked bad all year round. Goodrow is coming off two straight years of career highs. There should be enough value there to not include a pick.

The only other path to fitting everyone they need is the very unlikely scenario the Rangers trade Lafreniere. It’s been discussed, and Vancouver is the only destination we’ve heard mentioned. I don’t think there’s any validity to these rumors, and it’s just spitballing based on lack of growth. However these coaches are very targeted hires, so the Rangers clearly see something needed to change.

I don’t expect the Rangers to be too active, as it seemed the issue was more with structure than personnel. Critics will cite team speed, but the individual players are not slow. The team played slow. Laviolette’s structure should address this. Barring something wild, expect the Rangers to be relatively quiet at the draft.

Sorry for the lack of content the last few days. The wife and I welcomed our second child into the world on Wednesday, and our first had her birthday yesterday. Luckily the Rangers cooperated and didn’t do anything drastic while I was away. I’m back, and expect a lot of content as we get into the draft and free agency.


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