Rangers Deal Grabner to New Jersey Devils for Pick, Prospect

Phil Kocher
@ me

Phil Kocher

Managing Editor & Cofounder at ClearedForContact.com
I believe in Nate Silver, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Christopher Hitchens, the Oxford comma, and the value of white space.
Phil Kocher
@ me

The New York Rangers’ rebuild has officially begun! Fresh off the heels of sending Nick Holden to Boston on Tuesday, the Blueshirts have dealt Michael Grabner to the New Jersey Devils. Yup. Seriously. The Devils.

Igor Rykov, 20, is currently playing with SKA of the KHL and was the Devils’ fifth-round pick (132nd) in 2016.

Since he was signed in the summer of 2016, Grabner’s 52 goals have lead all Rangers in goal scoring with Rick Nash (41) and Chris Kreider (39) not terribly far behind.

Prior to the call, Grabner had been held out of the line up tonight in preparation for a trade.

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  1. Some more stuff on Rykov for those interested. Video in the link below.





    Though the Rangers began their trading deadline dispersal with the sale of Nick Holden to Boston, the surprising trade of Michael Grabner across the Hudson River was truly the substantial move for the Rangers as they begin their indefinite rebuild.

    In return for Grabner, the Rangers acquired defenseman Yegor Rykov and the Devils’ second-round pick in 2018.

    Rykov, 20, is a Russian left-handed defenseman whom the Devils drafted in the fifth round of the 2016 NHL draft. He plays in the KHL for SKA St. Petersburg, which is the top team in the league. Typically, he plays on their third pairing and earns only 13 or 14 minutes per night. Given his age and SKA’s stature, that is a pretty impressive accomplishment. Through 51 games, he has produced 2 goals and 12 assists, which is solid production given his age, usage, and lack of power play opportunities.

    There’s nothing particularly exceptional about Rykov. Instead, it is his well-roundedness that makes him an interesting prospect. He was listed at 6’2, 195 pounds as an 18-year old in 2015. Since then, he has bulked up and added 20 pounds. While he’s not going to blaze past anyone, he is an efficient skater; especially given his size.

    Rykov has good defensive instincts. I pored over some video of Rykov in the KHL this season, as well as World Juniors in January of 2017. His ability to read plays and get his stick or body in passing lanes stood out (watch for 57 in blue, then 28 in red).


    I found that Rykov’s weak spot was in handling the puck in the defensive and neutral zones. When he has time and space, he makes crisp passes the width of the ice or across zones. However, with the threat of pressure, it took him an extra second to control the puck and survey his options. Or, even worse, he would throw the puck away.


    This is where the imperfect nature of watching video comes into play. Alex Nunn and Josh Khalfin, both of whom have credible opinions, have lauded Rykov’s ability to move the puck. I watched four games with a dedicated focus on Rykov. Every player has good and bad games, and it’s possible I just picked games containing the outliers. Or that my perception is simply wrong. It’s also possible my evaluation is accurate. In this case, I defer to the knowledge of Alex and Josh and give Rykov the benefit of the doubt. He has produced a decent number of assists in the KHL and at the 2017 World Juniors, which indicates some passing prowess. Certainly, it’s something I will look at in his game going forward.

    It’s a fool’s errand to evaluate prospects two years after the fact based on where they were drafted, but that’s particularly true for Rykov. His KHL affiliation surely scared teams and dropped him 60-90 picks lower than his talent dictated. It’s also why the Devils were perhaps amenable to parting with him.

    When it comes to Russians, the Rangers have been undeterred in the past, and have little reason to be concerned about Rykov. The Rangers have had no problem recruiting Russians in the past, now have a theoretical built-in support system with both Pavel Buchnevich and Alexandar Georgiev and they have the infrastructure in place to make Rykov feel welcome. They have multiple Russian scouts in the organization with tremendous influence, Igor Shestyorkin is a teammate of his at SKA. Both of their KHL contracts run out at the end of the 2019 season, and it’s a reasonable expectation that both will sign with the Rangers at that time.


    Russian Prospects
    @RUSProspects
    Yegor Rykov told in an interview to @championat that he is glad about the trade, as he heard that #NYR will be rebuilding. Also mentioned that Shestyorkin texted him from PyeongChang to congratulate on the trade.

    9:31 PM - Feb 24, 2018
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    Rykov is not a game-breaking or dazzling talent, but he is very polished for his age. Certainly, he has upside as a second-pairing defenseman who can eat important minutes both at even strength and on the penalty kill.



    https://www.blueshirtbanter.com/2018...ound-selection





    Quote Originally Posted by The Dude
    View Post

    A goal scorer with a dipshit coach?

    Leads the team in goals, 2nd in goals last year by 1. No PP time. Nothing wrong there. Same guys on the PP over and over again... and it sucked most of the time. Lets not try a guy scoring more goals than 99% of the roster...



    Take the blinders off and stop focusing on goal totals. He’s not this amazing sniper, he’s not a PP player, his certain set of skills aren’t made for it.





    Quote Originally Posted by Sod16
    View Post

    Brassard commanded a 1st from Pitts. Still kind of smarting that we didn't get a 1st for Grabner, whatever the story with the Russian might be. Wouldn't mind getting Brass back if he goes UFA next year. Not like we're stacked at center.



    Brassard isn’t a UFA in a month
    Big difference in value compared to Grabner


    Sent from my iPhone using Blueshirts Brotherhood mobile app powered by Tapatalk





    Quote Originally Posted by NYRangers723
    View Post

    I thought you weren't gonna put words in my mouth. I was kidding around with you dude



    "Calmer than you are.."





    Quote Originally Posted by Rangers4Life
    View Post

    The fact that he has 25 goals and has no PP time with an inept PP, should tell you all that you need to know about what kind of player he is. No one is down playing anything, he is what he is, maybe you’re just over valuing him.



    A goal scorer with a dipshit coach?

    Leads the team in goals, 2nd in goals last year by 1. No PP time. Nothing wrong there. Same guys on the PP over and over again... and it sucked most of the time. Lets not try a guy scoring more goals than 99% of the roster...





    Quote Originally Posted by The Dude
    View Post

    ????? 27 goals last year. 25 this year. He puts pucks in nets. How many guys on this team have put up those goal totals? And hes on the 3rd line and gets no PP minutes.

    Hes not amazing or a game changer, but for some reason it bothers me how much people down play how good this dude has been. Bothers me more that he was never really given a look on the PP or moved up in the lineup. Maybe hes more than this. He WAS years ago.. Maybe he got back on track? AV never bothered to try. Jesper Fast and his 3 goals always does...



    The fact that he has 25 goals and has no PP time with an inept PP, should tell you all that you need to know about what kind of player he is. No one is down playing anything, he is what he is, maybe you’re just over valuing him.





    Quote Originally Posted by The Dude
    View Post

    People are saying all he does is skate fast. Undervaluing what he does. Not sure how you're missing that. Its right there in Joshs post. I don't normally disagree with Josh lately, so im not arguing just to argue, as ypu claimed I was doing.

    Not exactly sure why you're getting so worked up about this. Thats how im interpreting your posts. Sorry if you aren't. Not trying to put words in your mouth or anything.



    I'm perfectly calm. You seem to be getting worked up. Just calm down dude lol





    Quote Originally Posted by The Dude
    View Post

    ????? 27 goals last year. 25 this year. He puts pucks in nets. How many guys on this team have put up those goal totals? And hes on the 3rd line and gets no PP minutes.

    Hes not amazing or a game changer, but for some reason it bothers me how much people down play how good this dude has been. Bothers me more that he was never really given a look on the PP or moved up in the lineup. Maybe hes more than this. He WAS years ago.. Maybe he got back on track? AV never bothered to try. Jesper Fast and his 3 goals always does...



    Oh, I'm not trying to say anything bad about him. I didn't.

    I love the guy, always have. He's been on the All-Josh Team for 10 years. I love speed and Keep It Simple Stupid, so he's the perfect fit.





    Quote Originally Posted by NYRangers723
    View Post

    NOBODY is downplaying him but saying the return we got was crap is ridiculous. It was a fair deal



    People are saying all he does is skate fast. Undervaluing what he does. Not sure how you're missing that. Its right there in Joshs post. I don't normally disagree with Josh lately, so im not arguing just to argue, as ypu claimed I was doing.

    Not exactly sure why you're getting so worked up about this. Thats how im interpreting your posts. Sorry if you aren't. Not trying to put words in your mouth or anything.





    Quote Originally Posted by The Dude
    View Post

    ????? 27 goals last year. 25 this year. He puts pucks in nets. How many guys on this team have put up those goal totals? And hes on the 3rd line and gets no PP minutes.

    Hes not amazing or a game changer, but for some reason it bothers me how much people down play how good this dude has been. Bothers me more that he was never really given a look on the PP or moved up in the lineup. Maybe hes more than this. He WAS years ago.. Maybe he got back on track? AV never bothered to try. Jesper Fast and his 3 goals always does...



    NOBODY is downplaying him but saying the return we got was crap is ridiculous. It was a fair deal





    Quote Originally Posted by josh
    View Post

    He plays a smart, simple game, and knows how to use his speed. He's not great, or even really good, at anything other than skating fast.




    ????? 27 goals last year. 25 this year. He puts pucks in nets. How many guys on this team have put up those goal totals? And hes on the 3rd line and gets no PP minutes.

    Hes not amazing or a game changer, but for some reason it bothers me how much people down play how good this dude has been. Bothers me more that he was never really given a look on the PP or moved up in the lineup. Maybe hes more than this. He WAS years ago.. Maybe he got back on track? AV never bothered to try. Jesper Fast and his 3 goals always does...





    Quote Originally Posted by Dunny
    View Post

    Offensively one dimensional, yet dangerous weapon.

    He's only going to beat you one way, and he's almost certainly not going to assist in a teammate beating you.

    Which is fine, he's really good at what he does and the market shows that.

    People say he's great in his end, and I think that's stretching it a bit. A lot of that is tied to his ability to head the other direction. He did have a role in our own hilarious defensive zone ineptitude, after all.



    He plays a smart, simple game, and knows how to use his speed. He's not great, or even really good, at anything other than skating fast.
    Offensively one dimensional, yet dangerous weapon.

    He's only going to beat you one way, and he's almost certainly not going to assist in a teammate beating you.

    Which is fine, he's really good at what he does and the market shows that.

    People say he's great in his end, and I think that's stretching it a bit. A lot of that is tied to his ability to head the other direction. He did have a role in our own hilarious defensive zone ineptitude, after all.





    Quote Originally Posted by ThirtyONE
    View Post

    Putting Michael Granber in the same sentence as Kucherov, Taransenko, and Matthews is a mistake. Those players are 10x the player Grabner is, goal totals or not. Grabner is a one trick pony. PS an empty net goal is scored at even strength.



    The numbers speak for themselves when it comes to even strength goals. That's the only point. He's in good company and with a fraction of the talent and ice time. Somebody explain those numbers to me and how they exist if he's that much of a one trick pony.

    Sent from my [device_name] using http://Blueshirts Brotherhood mobile...ed by Tapatalk





    Quote Originally Posted by ThirtyONE
    View Post

    Putting Michael Granber in the same sentence as Kucherov, Taransenko, and Matthews is a mistake. Those players are 10x the player Grabner is, goal totals or not. Grabner is a one trick pony. PS an empty net goal is scored at even strength.



    What is the trick? Scoring? Thats a bad trick? I don't get this thinking. Goals are valuable. At his cost and the fact that he puts up numbers from the 3rd line, i expected a little bit more of a return.

    I guess it could have been worse. Im guessing this trade was more of a first move twitch to start the ball rolling.