Latest Rangers and Canucks Speculation – March 22, 2018
The New York Rangers could be open to shopping a first round pick, while Ben Hutton could face an uncertain future with the Vancouver Canucks. Check out the details in your NHL rumor mill.
RANGERS COULD SHOP A FIRST-ROUND PICK
THE ATHLETIC: Craig Custance reports New York Rangers general manager Jeff Gorton is open to peddling one of his three first-round picks leading up to the opening day of the 2018 NHL Draft in Dallas on June 22. The Rangers’ depth in first- and second-round picks in this year’s draft makes Gorton a popular target among peers interested in prying one of those picks away. Gorton tells Custance he open to moving a first-rounder if he can get a good young player in return.
FANRAG SPORTS NETWORK: Chris Nichols cited NHL insider Pierre LeBrun’s appearance Wednesday on Ottawa’s TSN 1200 discussing possible offseason moves by the Rangers. He noted Custance’s report regarding Gorton’s willingness to move a first-rounder for a good young player. He pointed out the Blueshirts have their own pick, the Boston Bruins’ first-rounder from the Rick Nash trade and the Tampa Bay Lightning’s pick from the Ryan McDonagh deal.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: With the Bruins and Lightning likely to finish in the top-five in the NHL standings this season, those picks will be in the lower tier of the opening round of the NHL draft. Doesn’t mean they’re horrible picks, but the Rangers probably won’t get as much interest in those selections as they will for their own, which could become a top-10 pick, perhaps even first overall. Gorton will likely want a good NHL-established player who’s 22 or younger in return for one of his picks.
COULD THE CANUCKS SHOP HUTTON?
THE PROVINCE: Jason Botchford recently speculated the second-half decline of Vancouver Canucks defenseman Ben Hutton puts his future with the club into uncertainty. Prior to being recently sidelined by a foot ailment, the 25-year-old Hutton was a healthy scratch in a dozen games since Dec. 19. Head coach Travis Green recently noted conditioning was an issue for the blueliner.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s possible the Canucks could put Hutton on the trade block this summer. Cap Friendly indicates he has a year remaining on his contract with an annual average value of $2.8 million, making him an affordable pickup for teams seeking blueline depth. However, his struggles this season could dampen his trade value. Canucks management might be willing to give him another chance in hopes he’ll be motivated to improve his conditioning and his overall game for next season.