3 players the New York Rangers should target before the trade deadline

NY Rangers (Photo by Steven Ryan/Getty Images)
NY Rangers (Photo by Steven Ryan/Getty Images) /
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Nick Ritchie skates against the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden
NEW YORK, NY – NOVEMBER 13: Nick Ritchie #12 of the Arizona Coyotes skates during the game against the New York Rangers on November 13, 2022, at Madison Square Garden in New York, New York. (Photo by Rich Graessle/Getty Images) /

Nick Ritchie

For teams that want a strong physical presence in their bottom six while adding some size, the Arizona Coyotes have just the players for that. Pending unrestricted free agent forward Nick Ritchie fits just that need. While there may some concerns about his inability to fit into the plans of a good team given the issues he had when he was a member of the Toronto Maple Leafs. However, that should not put you off the Orangeville, Ontario native.

At 235 lbs and 6’3, this is the kind of big-body player most teams are going to want in their bottom six in an effort to help deal with the demands of high-intensity playoff hockey. There’s no denying that the Rangers could use some help in their bottom six. Losing Ryan Reaves earlier in the season really hurt the Rangers’ ability to put a roster together with enough strength and bite to cope with a roster like Tampa Bay.

This isn’t to suggest that Nick Ritchie is a one-trick pony. With the ability to produce around 20 points a year, Ritchie has 9 goals and 12 assists for 21 points. He’s more than capable of being an asset in a diminished role. There’s no need for major concern because he is not likely to play major minutes. There may be issues if there are a ton of injuries and he is suddenly on the top line, but in a depth role, he’s helpful.

Ritchie makes $2.5 million against the cap until the end of this season, so it is more than affordable. Retained, $1.25 million is something the Rangers could slot into the roster without having to make any additional moves. It seems like this could be the kind of player to jump onto the fourth line that could provide a spark in the playoffs when the games get really rough.