It’s no secret that after Mika Zibanejad that the Rangers are woefully insufficient down the middle. Ryan Strome rides shotgun to Artemi Panarin and that’s not nearly a shot at Strome because Panarin is a monster but Strome is the kind of player that needs to be surrounded by great talent. Especially now without Filip Chytil the Rangers are woefully devoid at the center ice position and Jeff Gorton needs to start working the phones to find any kind of upgrade availble.
The Rangers have plenty of young talent in the pipeline to be able to dangle to attract a nice center. The Rangers are absolutely loaded on the wings for the future so dangling a talent like Vitali Kravtsov to a team like Edmonton for a potential return of Ryan Nugent-Hopkins could be something the Rangers may look at. Not saying that this would ever happen but a guy like RNH would be highly beneficial to the Rangers lineup. He’s the type of player that has shown he has the ability to be able to play with superstar talent so he would slot in nicely with Artemi Panarin.
Another intriguing option for the Rangers would be to try and add Sam Bennett out of Calgary. It’s already on the record that Bennett has requested a trade from the Flames and while this trade might not move the needle for most Rangers fans, he would be a very solid addition. Bennett is one of those players whose regular season numbers won’t blow your mind but he’s a player that come playoff time will help get your team over the hump. In ten playoff games last season Bennett registered 8 points and was one of the Flames’ best forwards. Bennett would be a very nice addition to the Rangers bottom six center depth and would also be a far better option than Brett Howden.
Lastly, one of my more interesting potential center acquisitions would be the Rangers bringing in Alex Galchenyuk. Galchenyuk has been a personal favorite of mine for a few years now even with all of his ups and downs. Even with Galchenyuk being traded already from Ottawa to Carolina, and now as of writing this has been placed on waivers by the Canes, Galchenyuk would also make a nice bottom six addition. He hasn’t been able to regain his 30 goal form of a few years ago but he’s still a player who has some nice offensive pop to his game. He’s a player who has bounced around but seems to just need to find the right kind of situation to be able to succeed. The Rangers have also had success with these kinds of reclamation projects in the past. Buying low on a talent like Galchenyuk would really help out with a team that can risk taking a low risk flier on a center right about now.
With Zibanejad struggling, Strome not being a offensive driver, and Filip Chytil being out the Rangers really need a lot of help down the middle and any low risk buys can turn out to be a double at worst or a homerun at best. I know I left out Brett Howden but having watched him play, Howden will never be able to help be a difference for this organization. Gorton and JD need to look under every rock possible to try and find a solution to the Rangers center issues.