One dream, one realistic, and one bargain player the NY Rangers must target in NHL free agency

The NY Rangers may not have much cap space to work with in NHL free agency, but it doesn’t mean they can land a dream player at a discount.
Tampa Bay Lightning v New York Rangers
Tampa Bay Lightning v New York Rangers / Bruce Bennett/GettyImages
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Realistic Free Agent: Dakota Joshua, W/Vancouver Canucks

The Rangers need to do all they can to beat the Florida Panthers next season, as we all know the back-to-back Eastern Conference Champions will be the ultimate measuring stick. One way to get the best of Florida is to beat them at their own hard-hitting game, and someone like Dakota Joshua could be the missing link to outmuscling a team like the Panthers. 

Per Alexander MacLean of Dobber Hockey, Joshua’s AAV should sit at $2.360 million when he signs his next contract. Even with lesser cap space, that figure shouldn’t be too much trouble for Chris Drury to fit into the organization should it hold true come July and if the Canucks don’t re-sign him first. 

Another reason why I like Joshua so much is that he’s yet another player in this free agency class who can add supplementary scoring. No, he won’t reach Stamkos’ productivity, which sat at 40 goals and 81 points in 2023-24, but Joshua showed us he’s effective enough to make a difference. 

He only played in 63 regular season games, but it’s all he needed to snag a career-high in goals scored, assists, and points. Joshua would likely enjoy the same output with the Rangers if he joined them. And if you combined his regular season and playoff appearances, Joshua finished 76 games total with 22 goals and 18 assists, good for 40 points. Oh, and speaking of physicality, he ended the season with 319 body checks in those same 76 games, good for over four per contest.