Rangers Rumors: Young Winger Surfacing As Trade Candidate

The New York Rangers are still adjusting to the devastating news that Filip Chytil is out for the remainder of the season, and it's clear they will need to go out and obtain one or even two significant pieces. 

TSN Insider Darren Dreger is one who agrees that the Rangers are a definite buyer as we get closer to the trade deadline in an effort to bolster their Stanley Cup chances.

And as he said on TSN's Insider Trading, it appears that they're open to trading a young forward in order to facilitate those efforts.

A second overall pick in 2019 of the New York Rangers, Kaapo Kakko is an asset that perhaps Chris Drury, general manager of the Rangers, considers using as trade bait. I know that multiple sources have said that Drury is taking calls on Kakko. 

Still just 22 years old and playing on a cheap contract ($2.1 million cap hit), plus still team under control as a restricted free agent after the season, Kakko is an attractive trade piece. Add his salary to their existing $5.2 million in cap space, and that could give the Rangers well over $7 million to play with, and the manoeuvrability to go out and acquire the significant upgrade they need at the deadline.

The 6'2", 206-pound Kakko was the No. 2 selection in the 2019 Draft, as Dreger mentioned, and after his breakout season last year with the Rangers, posting 18 goals and 22 assists for 40 points in 82 games, he has slumped this season to just six points in 28 games, while his minutes have declined from over 15 per game last year to just 13:27 on ice a night this campaign. He does have a goal in each of his last two games.

Kakko just returned to the Blueshirts' lineup two weeks ago after missing 21 games to a lower-body injury. 

Photo: Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports