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Rangers Eye Two Ducks Forwards in Deadline Trade Talk

The New York Rangers have a hole to fill at center and may be looking at two Ducks forwards ahead of the trade deadline.

The New York Rangers are exploring options to fill the void left by the sidelined Filip Chytil, with interest in Anaheim Ducks center Adam Henrique as a potential playoff rental. Additionally, there’s speculation about a reunion with winger Frank Vatrano. Arthur Staple and Eric Stephens of The Athletic report dug deeper into both players in a recent article about some early deadline trade talk.

When it comes to Vatrano, this would be the Ducks selling high. He’s on pace for 36 goals, has a team-friendly contract, and might not fit into the team’s window to contend. There will be teams looking for exactly what he brings, and the return could be significant.

Vatrano, with a $3.65 million cap hit, lacks no-trade protection and is signed through the next season. On track to achieve a career-high in goals, the winger’s value is at its peak, prompting speculation that Ducks GM Pat Verbeek might seek to capitalize on his success.

Adam Henrique Frank Vatrano Ducks trade talk

When it comes to Henrique, he’s a versatile forward with a lot to offer a contender. Stephens writes:

“He can play center and win faceoffs. He can play with other skilled forwards and is most effective when riding shotgun. He can slide over to left wing without an issue. And he’d be highly motivated to play in the postseason, something that surprisingly hasn’t happened often in his 14-year career.”

Henrique, with a $5.825 million cap hit, is set to become a UFA on July 1. Any move involving him before the deadline would likely require the Ducks to retain part of his salary, unless he is on his 10-team no-trade list.

What Would the Rangers Be Willing to Give Up in a Trade?

While the Rangers are inquiring about these players, the team is unlikely to part with their 2024 first-round pick, even though the Vancouver Canucks and Winnipeg Jets traded their 2024 first-rounders for Elias Lindholm and Sean Monahan. That leaves the Rangers with a tough decision.

If not willing to move a first-round pick and possibly more, they may have to trade away promising forward Kaapo Kakko. But, in doing so, that could jeopardize the improvement of the third line, an area the Rangers are looking to strengthen.

As the trade deadline approaches, the Rangers know they have a hole to fill. At the same time, there is only so much they are willing to do to fill it.

Next: Oilers Can Extend Multiple Streaks Against Defending Champs

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