When the New York Rangers trade any players away, there is always fear that the team has given up much-needed talent. It’s the dreaded “mortgaging the future” factor also known as “Rick Middleton Redux.”
This season there have been five Blueshirts who became “former New York Rangers.” One was lost on waivers, two were traded to clear cap space and two were sent away in trade deadline deals. With the season winding down, it’s worth a look at how our former heroes are faring with their new teams. For the Rangers, it’s not bad. For the former Blueshirts, for the most part, it’s not very good.
We’ll start with a player who had tantalized the fanbase for years after being an off-board first-round draft selection.
New York Rangers: 28 games, 3 goals, 6 points, 11:25 ATOI
Vancouver Canucks: 13 games, 0 goals, 1 point, 10:46 ATOI
When Chris Drury swapped Vitali Kravtsov to the Vancouver Canucks for a 2025 seventh-round pick and someone named William Lockwood, he took a lot of criticism for giving up on the ninth overall pick in the 2018 draft. It was time for Ranger fans to hold their breath and watch him blossom with regular shifts on an inferior team.
Okay fans, you can breathe again. Believe it or not, Kravtsov is not coming close to his production with the Rangers while with the Canucks. He is actually playing fewer minutes per game than he did in New York and he has all of one assist in 13 games and has been a healthy scratch the last two games for Vancouver.
It’s probably too early to write Kravtsov off as a draft bust, but it’s a fact that he is not generating any headlines in Vancouver. With Lockwood, a Group 6 UFA after this season, getting just a 7th-round pick in two years may have been a realistic return for the enigmatic Russian.
The next player was one who came to New York with high hopes but had a tenure here that was beset by bad luck. He desperately needed a change of scenery.