Drury Nails First Trade Deadline

NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 01: The New York Rangers salute the fans following the National Hockey League game between the Florida Panthers and the New York Rangers on February 1, 2022 at Madison Square Garden in New York, NY. (Photo by Joshua Sarner/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

There has been speculation for months about what Chris Drury would be able to do come trade deadline day and he didn’t disappoint. In his first professional trade deadline day Drury was able to address his clubs needs and bolster his lineup without giving up a first round pick or any top prospects to do so.

We have been saying for months on the 30 On Broadway podcast that the Rangers needed to be able to bolster their depth to become a tougher postseason out. Drury clearly had his sights set on bolstering his depth and today he accomplished that goal.

When you see the returns that other rentals got from GM’s this deadline you have to be impressed by Drury being able to land Justin Braun, Andrew Copp, and Tyler Motte and only give up a 2023 3rd (Braun), a 2023 4th (Motte), and two 2nd round picks (one of which can become a first if the NYR make the ECF this season) and Morgan Barron. Being able to hold onto the likes of Nils Lundkvist and Vitali Kravtsov in a rental market that saw multiple prospects and firsts be dealt is a huge win for Drury. Losing Morgan Barron is bit of a tough blow but he was clearly boxed out of a permanent roster spot in New York so it makes sense for Drury to move him and hold onto his top defensive prospects for perhaps a bigger move this summer.

It’s well known that the Rangers third line has been an offensive and defensive blackhole most of the season and with just two forward acquisitions today Drury fixed that. A third line, once Kakko is healthy, of Vatrano-Copp-Chytil will be one of the best third lines the Rangers have had in about eight seasons. Copp is solid offensively and can score around the net but is also defensively responsible which takes that load off of Chytil’s shoulders. Vatrano is a shoot first presence that has the ability to thrive from Chytil’s playmaking ability. Also of note, Filip Chytil must be thrilled today because he’ll finally have consistent linemates and talented linemates that he hasn’t had at the NHL level.

Tyler Motte will slot in very nicely on the club’s fourth line with Goodrow and Ryan Reaves for the regular season. Motte can be a lesser version of what Carl Hagelin used to be but what he brings to the game is the kind of style that translates to winning postseason games. Motte can also become another valuable penalty killer who can take Gregg McKegg’s spot and do everything McKegg does but better.

Justin Braun is a very solid and under the radar move today. He won’t wow you with offensive prowess but he does all the little things well defensively and will stabilize the third pair. Even though he plays the right side he can also play on the left if Gallant wants to keep young Braden Schneider in the lineup. Braun has primarily been known as a minutes eater and can take some of Fox’s PK time to help keep Fox fresh down the stretch run. One thing of note about Braun is that he was Marc-Edouard Vlasic’s partner in San Jose and once Braun left Vlasic’s decline in play began. Make of that what you will.

All in all Ranger fans have got to be thrilled in the 3 moves Drury made today and the 4 he made overall to bolster his club heading down the stretch. You always want to be a tough team to play against and today the New York Rangers are much tougher than they were yesterday. Drury not only maintained his limited cap flexibility next year but he didn’t pay outrageous prices to improve his team. You can be critical of his first offseason but you must applaud him for how he handled his first deadline.

Author

  • Nick has been an integral member of TheFHN since the founding of the network. A hockey player in various levels since a young age and a lifelong Rangers fan, Nick bleeds blue. As a podcaster for the past 8 years, Nick is 1/2 of the team for the Two 4 Roughing and 30 on Broadway Talking Blueshirts podcasts. In addition to the podcasts, he is a writer for 30 on Broadway OT.

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