As it turned out, the Rangers weren’t done trading and made two moves on Friday before the 3 PM ET trade deadline.
The first one saw New York acquire forward Anton Blidh from the Colorado Avalanche in exchange for prospect Gustav Rydahl. Then, Chris Drury completed his rousing deadline by acquiring Wyatt Kalynuk from the Vancouver Canucks in exchange for future considerations. While all three players are currently in the minors, the two the Blueshirts obtained could prove vital to their parent roster if needed.
Blidh, 27, was selected in the sixth round of the 2013 draft by the Boston Bruins, where he spent his first nine seasons and appeared in a total of 70 games before signing with the Avalanche last Summer. This season, he’s recorded no points in 14 NHL games and has spent the majority of the season with the Colorado Eagles in the AHL, where he has 12 points in 36 games and
will now be playing for the Hartford Wolfpack following this trade.
The reason behind his acquisition is seen as a depth move as the Rangers in case of several injuries or if the team is in need and allowed by the NHL to call a player up from Hartford.
Kalynuk was previously expected to be a staple in the NHL after signing with the Chicago Blackhawks out of the University of Wisconsin. He was K’Andre Miller’s teammate for two seasons.
The Flyers initially drafted Kalynuk in round seven, 196 overall of the 2017 NHL draft, didn’t sign, and then was sent to the Tampa Bay Lightning after they acquired him, along with Peter Budaj and Erik Cernak from the Los Angeles Kings for Ben Bishop and a 2017 5th rounder which turned into Drake Rymsa.
After three years playing in the NCAA, where he racked up 78 points in 110 games, the defenseman signed with the Chicago Blackhawks in the 2020 offseason, appeared in 26 games over the next two seasons, where he recorded four goals in nine points, but hasn’t cracked the scoresheet since 2021, and hasn’t skated in the NHL since last season.
The 25-year-old has spent most of his time in the AHL with the Rockford IceHogs, where he’s amassed 11 goals and 44 points in his last 98 games.
The acquisition will likely give Hartford a veteran defenseman to help with prospect development. They currently sit in sixth place in the Atlantic division with a record of 24-20-3-7(shootout losses) and are 16 points below the playoff line.
Drury signed Rydahl as an undrafted free agent out of the SHL, where he led Farjestads to multiple championships. Yet, ever since coming over to North America to play in the AHL with Hartford, injuries and lack of amusements have limited him to seven goals and 15 points through 40 games. The 28-year-old did receive a call on the show before the Rangers’ 4-1 January 5th victory at the Montreal Canadiens but didn’t play.