New York Rangers' Top Trade Candidate This Season

The New York Rangers have their sights set on upgrading a few areas of their lineup before the trade deadline this season. These additions should include a top-six winger/center, third pairing left-shot defenceman, and a backup goaltender. Who knows if all can be accomplished, but what's very clear is that coach Gerard Gallant isn't sold on any option he's tried on the third defensive pairing.

Zac Jones, Libor Hajek, and Ben Harpur have all got time in that spot, but the two younger players, Jones and Hajek, haven't impressed so Harpur has been holding down the spot. The Rangers' biggest concern among trade deadline acquisitions needs to be this defensive hole. So with Hajek currently serving as a healthy scratch, he would be a player on their way out as he's not likely to get playing time for the rest of the season or the future with Jones arriving full-time soon.

Hajek has played 110 games in the NHL and is nearly 25 years old. He hasn't established himself as a good enough defenceman for the Rangers to consider keeping in their lineup or around, but the former 37th overall pick could use a change of scenery to his advantage. He's a RFA at the end of the season and a team with poor defensive depth or a lot of injuries could benefit from giving him a chance. The Rangers would take any assets they could get for him at this point as he also has just one goal in 16 games this season.

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