The New York Rangers are loaded with defensive talent. They currently have their top four solidified with the McDonagh – Shattenkirk pair and the Smith – Skjei pair. Then they have Marc Staal, Nick Holden, Anthony DeAngelo, Neal Pionk, Alexei Bereglazov, and Ryan Graves fighting for a bottom pair spot. With so many solid defensive assets, one should be moved to either help get a fourth line center or a future draft pick.
The New York Rangers defensive depth is quite impressive. The signing of Kevin Shattenkirk has helped solidify the top two pairings with him being able to play on the right side of McDonagh. With the top four set, there are potentially six players who could be slide into the third pairing.
The two players who I think will make up the final pairing is Marc Staal and Anthony DeAngelo. If the third pairing is going to consist of Marc Staal and Anthony DeAngelo, the Rangers should look to move one of their defensive assets.
In moving one of there defensemen, in return the Rangers should look to acquire a fourth line center or draft picks. I think the Rangers should and will move Nick Holden.
Why Move Nick Holden:
The Rangers already have three solid right handed defensemen. Those players would be Kevin Shattenkirk, Brendan Smith, and Anthony DeAngelo. These players should push Nick Holden, another right handed defensemen out of the lineup.
Nick Holden could compete with Anthony DeAngelo for that final spot in camp. Despite a potentially competition between these two players, Anthony DeAngelo provides more upside.
Even if Nick Holden cannot crack the current Rangers lineup, he can still provide an upside to other NHL units. Nick Holden is a player who can push the play and be offensive. Last year he was able to score 35 points in 80 games for the Rangers.
His offensive upside and puck moving ability could intrigue teams to take him at only a $`1.65 million dollar cap hit. Holden is also in a contract year and might produce higher than expected to make his case during free agency next summer.
Potential Return for Nick Holden:
The Rangers should look to get a fourth line center or a third/fourth round pick for Nick Holden. The Rangers desperately need a bottom six center after the loss of Oscar Lindberg.
If a bottom six center is not attainable, the Rangers should go after a middle round draft pick. I think Gorton and company can acquire a third or fourth round pick for Nick Holden. It seems under the current management, the Rangers are looking to get younger and younger. A draft pick would help that cause and rebuild their farm system.
Analyzing Other Defensive Assets:
Other defensive assets should be considered for trades. With young players like Ryan Graves, Alexei Bereglazov, and Neal Pionk, older assets like Marc Staal should be considered for a trade.
However, Staal is a better shut down player than Holden. He also can play the left side of the bottom pair. If Staal is paired with DeAngelo, he would be able to cover DeAngelo’s mistakes more than Holden can.
Nick Holden provides the best opportunity for the Rangers to get something they need back in a trade. They would not sacrifice giving up young talent. They would would get rid of an expiring contract and i think they could sway another team to give up a bottom six forward for Holden.