On Monday, the New York Rangers shocked Blueshirt Nation by trading away fan favorite Derick Brassard. In the trade, the Rangers acquired forward Mika Zibanejad and a 2018 2nd-round pick from the Ottawa Senators.
This move comes as quite a surprise as Brassard was coming off his best goal-scoring performance of his career. He registered 27 goals and 31 assists in 80 games last season. The Rangers don’t have a true No. 1 center and they’re trading away arguably the team’s best so there’s been a bunch of mixed reactions from fans.
What are the Rangers getting in this trade? Well, there is a positive out of this deal. New York was able to get a younger, cheaper player who has the ability to produce the same amount of points. Zibanejad is coming off of back-to-back 20 goal seasons in Ottawa. The former first-round pick has shown an increase in production with every NHL season. Jeff Gorton believes that Zibanejad is “just scratching the surface,” and has the ability to become a prolific goal scorer.
Here’s what General Manager Jeff Gorton’s had to say about the trade:
I am not mandated to change ten things, this is an opportunity to get better and that’s why we took it. This is a younger player, almost six years younger (than Brassard), that’s coming off two 20-goal seasons that we believe is heading into the prime of his career. The ability to get a younger player that is fast, big, plays real well in his own zone and can do a lot of things for us–that’s the exciting piece (of the trade).
New York is also getting an important 2nd-round pick in the 2018 NHL Draft. The Rangers are still recovering from trading away future assets in other deals (Ryan Callahan-Martin St. Louis, Keith Yandle, and Eric Staal). The Blueshirts didn’t have their first pick in the draft this season until pick #50, so getting a valuable pick in the second round is crucial in building the team’s future.
All in all this was a solid move by Jeff Gorton. It was definitely a decision that was made to help the team’s future. I know it will be tough seeing such a solid player go, but everyone has to look at the long-term effect this trade can have, which have the potential to be enormous.