New York Rangers: Did the Rangers receive enough for Ryan McDonagh?

NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 19: Conor Sheary #43 of the Pittsburgh Penguins is checked by Ryan McDonagh #27 of the New York Rangers during the third period in Game Three of the Eastern Conference First Round during the 2016 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at at Madison Square Garden on April 19, 2016 in New York City. The Penguins defeated the Rangers 3-1. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 19: Conor Sheary #43 of the Pittsburgh Penguins is checked by Ryan McDonagh #27 of the New York Rangers during the third period in Game Three of the Eastern Conference First Round during the 2016 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at at Madison Square Garden on April 19, 2016 in New York City. The Penguins defeated the Rangers 3-1. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /

With the recent trade of Ottawa’s star defenseman Erik Karlsson, let’s compare that to what the New York Rangers got for Ryan McDonagh.

The New York Rangers and Ottawa Senators are bizzaro world reflections of each other. Both teams are in the midst of long term rebuilds, but clearly only one has some semblance of what a rebuild requires. A successful rebuild requires maximum return on value in trades and maintaining control of draft picks at all cost.

The Senators are in a world wind of trouble as an organization. The G.M is operating at the whim of an owner, Eugene Melnyk, that has no interest in putting a competitive team on the ice. The organization’s two highest paid defenseman this season, Codi Ceci and salary retained from Dion Phaneuf, make more than the other four defenseman combined.

While that circus stays up in Ottawa, the Rangers’ front office has done an okay job of procuring assets in hopes of getting the team trending in the right direction. While it is a given that not all of the team’s prospects will be successful, the more of them the team has, the better the chance one will be a superstar.

Related Story. New York Rangers: The best undrafted players in franchise history. light

These are two organizations on opposite ends of the rebuilding spectrum. New York has a pool of 10 to 15 prospects that are all within a year or two of being ready for the NHL. Ottawa honestly has no direction or seemingly a plan.

A comparison

Now, as for the straight value, Erik Karlsson is one dollar, Ryan McDonagh at his absolute best is about 80 cents. So when comparing the return for value, think about it with the proper context in mind. Karlsson is probably the best defenseman in hockey. When the former Rangers’ captain is healthy, he’s probably a top 15 defenseman.

With that out of the way and the value on both sides established, the Rangers did a better job in receiving talent needed for a rebuild than the Senators did. Point and simple, Ottawa got a six nickels for its dollar bill. On the other hand, the Rangers got two quarters and a dime for McDonagh.

While six is more than one, the value of the six nickels does not come close to the dollar bill Ottawa gave up. Sure, the Rangers only got 60 cents for their 80 cents, but it is a lot closer to the true value than the Senators package.

The New York Rangers traded both Miller and McDonagh to the Tampa Bay Lighting last winter for Vladislov Namestikov, a first round pick in this pat year’s draft, and two prospects in Brett Howden and Libor Hajek.

Namestikov has already re-signed with the Rangers for the next two seasons, while Hajek and Howden are both competing for a roster spot for this upcoming season. While the trade sent out two talented players that will certainly help Tampa remain a Stanley Cup favorite, The Rangers still did well to receive the trove of assets back that they did.

The circus

Let’s compare this to what the Senators got back from the San José Sharks for Erik Karlsson, which has already been heavily criticized as a lopsided trade in favor of San José. Let’s start with a comparison of Chris Tierney to Namestikov, two NHL ready forwards around the same age (Tierney is a year younger than Namestikov at 24 years of age).

Both players had similar statistics, with both players finishing the season at, or over in Namestikov’s case, the 40 point mark. In both Tierney’s and Namestikov’s case, this came in their fourth NHL season and marks a career high. The similarities in both experience and production comes at a wash, as both players are almost identical in both aspects.

However, it’s clear based on his development that Tierney is probably a fringe second line player if he reaches the peak of his talent. As for Namesntikov, the Russian’s development was thrown off going from Stamkos and Kucherov to Cody McLeod and Jimmy Vesey. So, for now, advantage Rangers.

The real comparisons of the trade come with the picks and prospects included. The first player, Josh Norris, is a former first round pick of the Sharks in 2017. In his lone season at Michigan, Norris put up 23 points in the 37 games played. He will probably spend another few seasons in college before he leaves for the NHL.

Dylan DeMelo is another average piece, already 25 years old with a few NHL seasons under his belt. His offensive production hasn’t been anything to write home about, with his best season coming last year as he produced 20 points in 63 games. Both of these players aren’t going to make much of an impact now, or even in the near future.

Rudolfs Balcers is a 21-year-old defenseman that should draw more attention than Norris. The defenseman has put up high point totals for a defenseman in the AHL already. With 48 points in 65 games played, Balcers will be ready for NHL action sooner than later. This is the only prospect piece that looks like he will contribute in the next few years unless Norris makes a tremendous leap from the NCAA.

The draft pick compensation is where this deal begins to become muddy. The picks are a mix of straight forward and conditional. Of the picks that have already been cemented, Ottawa will receive a first round pick in 2020 and not 2019 because of San Jose’s prior trade with Buffalo for Evander Kane.

The Senators will also receive a second round pick in 2019, after that though the deal becomes littered with conditions. Ottawa will receive an extra second round pick in 2021 if Karlsson re-signs with the Sharks and that pick could become a 2021 first if the Sharks reach the Stanley Cup finals this season. Another conditional pick included (that would end up negating the previous conditional pick) would be a first in either 2021 or 2022 if Erik Karlsson is traded to an Eastern Conference team this season.

So the pick total at a most would end up being a 2020 and 2021 first round pick, and a second rounder in 2019. Two firsts and a second for a Norris trophy winning defenseman in a contract year. Combining the total package for Karlsson of three draft picks, a great prospect, and two average ones.

Next. New York Rangers: The players think they’ll be better than expectations. dark

In comparison, Jeff Gorton did well for the Rangers. McDonagh and J.T. Miller just aren’t equal value to Erik Karlsson and its debatable that the two prospects the Rangers received are better than the three Ottawa got back.

The Senators certainly got more draft pick compensation than the Rangers, but with San José now becoming a Stanley Cup favorite, those picks may end up later in the first round than Tampa’s did last season. The Rangers made the right move in trading McDonagh at the deadline, and with Ottawa’s paltry return for a superstar play, I can’t see how that move is questionable anymore.