Step 3: Minor draft day trades
This step is essentially just cleaning up the defensive situation even further. If Vegas takes one of the Rangers’ forwards instead of Holden, the Rangers would be best served looking for a trade partner that would be interested in acquiring him. They need to also find someone to take on Kevin Klein’s contract.
Dealing these two defensemen shouldn’t be all that hard. Of course, you probably aren’t going to get anything better than a fifth or sixth round pick for Klein, and you are probably going to have to retain some salary, but somebody will take a flyer on a cheaper veteran defenseman with tons of playoff experience with just one more year on his deal.
Holden also probably won’t bring all that much value. With that said, stranger things have happened. At the end of the day, he did score 11 goals and 34 points in the previous season, so maybe he can bring back a third or fourth round pick, even with his poor play in the postseason being televised to the masses.
If Raanta is taken in the draft, the Rangers should go out and attempt to acquire a backup goalie for one of their mid-level minor league prospects just like they did when they acquired Raanta. The goalie market has not been a good one for years, so a solid backup goalie probably won’t cost the Rangers all that much. There are a few good options on free agency for a backup goalie though, so maybe the team would be best served to wait till July 1st to fill the void.