New York Rangers: Who we want taken in the Expansion Draft

Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports /
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Mandatory Credit: Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports /

Lou Venditti

Antti Raanta-Jesper Fast-trade/bribe Vegas the rights to Brendan Smith-Michael Grabner-Oscar Lindberg

As far as I’m concern, Antti Raanta is the easiest replaced of the Rangers exposed. Benoit Allaire, the goaltending coach for the Rangers, is some kind of mad scientist who makes backup goalies into starters. Raanta was fine before Allaire, but Allaire took him to the next level.

Allaire will do this with Henrik Lundqvist’s next backup, too. Raanta is just another one of Lundqvist’s backup goaltenders who Allaire taught to be great.

As far as the next three go, they can still be replaced. Nicklas Jensen ripped Hartford apart last year with 32-23-55 in 70 games played. If Jesper Fast is taken, Jensen probably gets a more real shot at the NHL.

Brendan Smith may be very good, but I’d rather lose the rights to negotiate before July 1st than a real contract. If Michael Grabner is taken, Thomas Vanek hits UFA on the 1st. Vanek, while older, can adequately replace Grabner in both point production and European token status.

Next: Predicting the Rangers' 2017-18 forwards

I’m not usually one to overrate Oscar Lindberg, but he’s the least replaceable member of the Rangers that’s exposed for the expansion draft. Lindberg is a top tier, bottom six forward, and a center at that. Losing him for nothing would be the biggest punch to the gut that the expansion draft could offer.