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Rangers acquire Keith Yandle from Arizona for John Moore, Anthony Duclair, picks

keith yandle

The Rangers bolstered their defense with the acquisition of Keith Yandle, an offensive juggernaut from the blue line. Photo courtesy of the Arizona Coyotes.

Bobby Bevilacqua

Glen Sather and the New York Rangers were at it again at this year’s trade deadline, picking up Keith Yandle, Chris Summers, and a fourth round pick in 2016 from the Arizona Coyotes, and sending John Moore, Anthony Duclair, a 2016 first round pick, and a 2015 second round pick to the desert. Sather also managed to pick up Yandle at half of his salary, making his cap hit just $2.625 million through next season.

This is not purely a rental, as Yandle is under contract for the next season as well. The Rangers will only pay half salary for that season as well.

Clearly, the big name in this trade is Yandle. Chris Summers was the 29th overall in the 2006 NHL draft, and has yet to become a steady NHL defenseman, so that acquisition is pretty much negligible.

Keith Yandle, just 28 years old, is a solid defenseman. A power play magician and an offensive talent, Yandle will be able to add more scoring to a Rangers defensive core that has struggled to do that consistently this season. He is a fantastic passer, and led the Coyotes in points with 41 (4-37-41) this season.

In his career, Yandle has 23 power play goals and 143 total power play points. If you combine Ryan McDonagh, Marc Staal, Dan Girardi, John Moore, Matt Hunwick and Kevin Klein’s power play stats, they all total for 25 power play goals and 108 total power play points. So Yandle will certainly be a huge boost in that department.

keith Yandle goal celebration

Keith Yandle is outstanding on the power play and an excellent puck mover. Photo courtesy of the Arizona Coyotes.

 

This season, Yandle is tied for the NHL lead in power play assists (24), tied for third in the NHL in power play points (26), and is tied for ninth amongst NHL defenseman in points.

Yandle drives possession, and him just being on the ice will create more chances for the Rangers. He is a premier offensive defenseman, and someone of his talent is hard to come across.

He also has playoff success. In 27 postseason games, Yandle has 19 points (3-16-19), and was a big part of their success in the Coyotes 2011-12 run to the Western Conference Finals.

Looking at his stats, the -32 will stand out to a lot of people. However, it’s really the result of the team that he is on. The Coyotes are one of the lowest scoring teams in the league, with a -76 goal differential. He wasn’t playing alongside much talent either, and will have a stronger partner in New York.

Yandle does have some turnover issues, but his skating ability and puck movement will fit in very nicely to Alain Vigneault’s system.

The Rangers truly have one of the strongest defenses in the NHL as of right now. Yandle balances out the somewhat disappointing signing of Dan Boyle, hopefully adding the offense and power play strength that the Rangers were hoping for.

Although it is extremely disappointing to see them give up Anthony Duclair, who in my opinion has a chance for stardom, you have to give something to get something. It’s pretty impressive that Sather managed to acquire a very talented player at half salary and without giving up someone on their NHL roster.

anthony duclair 11-19

Anthony Duclair, one of the Rangers top prospects, will head to Arizona as they prepare to build for the future. Photo courtesy of MSG Photos.

 

The Rangers still have a second round pick in the upcoming draft, because they acquired one from the Tampa Bay Lightning in the trade for Martin St. Louis. The first round pick is conditional, meaning that if the Rangers miss the playoffs next season, they can elect to push the draft pick back a year.

Overall, this looks like a win for Sather and the Rangers. He bolstered his defense and playmaking from the blue line, without messing up the chemistry that has been established and not losing a valuable player off of the NHL roster.

Despite trading Duclair, the team still has youth. Kevin Hayes, JT Miller, Carl Hagelin, Derick Brassard, and Jesper Fast are all still a part of the team. Pavel Buchnevich, a 19 year old playing in the KHL, is an impressive prospect, and could be in the AHL this season.

You would be hard pressed to find a better defensive group in the NHL as well. The Rangers defensive pairings tomorrow night could be as follows; Ryan McDonagh-Dan Girardi, Marc Staal-Keith Yandle, Kevin Klein-Dan Boyle. Pretty darn good if you ask me.

It was also recently reported that the Rangers and Mats Zuccarello have agreed to terms on a four year, $18 million deal that would pay him an average of $4.5 million annually. More on that to follow.

The trades may not be done, so be sure to follow me on Twitter @The_RangerZone for news and updates. Lee Stempniak was traded to Winnipeg for a prospect as a cap-clearing move, so something else is probably going to happen.

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Posted on March 1, 2015, in Rangers Updates and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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