The New York Rangers have played well since Captain Jacob Trouba threw his helmet and told his team to wake up. They finished January with a 9-2-2 record and an overall record of 27-14-8, which is good for third in the Metropolitan Division. While it looks like the Rangers should be in the playoffs come April, the team is far from perfect. They still need help on the back end and could look to add another forward up front who could provide some scoring help. Patrick Kane has been linked to the Rangers for years now, but he is not the player the Rangers should target. The player they should be looking at is St.Louis Blues forward, Vladimir Tarasenko.
Tarasenko has been a St.Louis Blue since they drafted him in 2010( a player the Rangers could have had) and has been a consistent scoring threat when he is not injured. In 644 games played, he has scored 262 goals and has accumulated 553 total points. The one concern is his injury history. He is currently out injured and has only played over 70 games twice in the past five seasons, so that is a concern. But when he is healthy, he is an elite player.
It has been publicly known that Tarasenko requested a trade from the Blues a few years ago, but the Blues decided to hang on to him. He is now in the final year of his $7.5 million dollar contract and will become a UFA after this season. He would be a great fit for the Rangers as he plays the right wing, which the Rangers lack besides Kaapo Kakko. He would fit it on the top six and could be a great fit with Artemi Panarin who is a passer, while Tarasenko is more of a shooter. They could become a very deadly duo.
As for what the Rangers would have to give up, it depends on what the Blues would want. Currently, it looks like the Blues will be missing the playoffs this year, so they would be looking for future assets. The Ranges have prospects they could trade and also have two first-round picks, could one of them go the other way? Could a player like Vitali Kravtsov go the other way, as he has been a frequent healthy scratch? There are many pieces the Rangers could part with.
The Rangers have been linked to other players like Kane and Timo Meier in San Jose. Those players could cost more than what it would cost for Tarasenko and it would not make sense to give up major assets for a rental. Tarasenko could be the spark needed in the top six and would give Gerard Gallant another option for his lineup. Whatever the Rangers do, Tarasenko should be an option that the team considers when looking to add players at the Trade Deadline.