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Rangers trade Carl Hagelin to Anaheim for Emerson Etem

Bobby Bevilacqua

hagelin hi-5 line 11-9

The Rangers have traded the rights to Carl Hagelin as well as some picks to the Anaheim Ducks for Emerson Etem and a higher second round draft pick. Photo courtesy of MSG Photos.

The Rangers made their first big trade of the day, and it didn’t involve Cam Talbot (yet).

During the second round of the draft, the Rangers traded the rights to Carl Hagelin along with the 59th and 179th pick to the Anaheim Ducks for Emerson Etem and the 41st pick in the second round.

Carl Hagelin is an upcoming RFA, and was due for a big raise, something that the Rangers could not afford. Hagelin earned $2.25 million this past season, and was expected to command over $4 million. With Sather needing to sign Derek Stepan, as well as some other key players like Jesper Fast and JT Miller, there was very little room to sign Hagelin.

With Belesky likely on his way out of Anaheim, the Ducks needed to acquire a bottom six forward that can contribute just as much as Belesky did (22-10-32), and add an element of speed and defense to their forward group. Hagelin gives them exactly that, giving them another scoring option as well as a great penalty killer.

In return, the Rangers moved up in the second round, swapping their 59th pick with the Ducks’ 41st pick, which they used to draft Ryan Gropp, a 6-2 left winger with a unique blend of size and scoring ability. In 67 games played with the Seattle Thunderbirds of the WHL, Gropp scored 30 goals and added 28 assists.

But the main part of this trade is acquiring Emerson Etem, an upcoming RFA from the Anaheim Ducks. Etem was largely relegated to fourth line duties in Anaheim, and was misused when looking at his skillset. At 6-foot-2 and 212 pounds, Etem gives the Rangers a bigger winger with a promising skillset.

Emerson-Etem

In return, the Rangers got Emerson Etem, a promising 23 year-old with a lot of room to grow and develop. Photo courtesy of Jerome Miron/USA Today Sports.

Etem is also pretty quick on the ice, but he also has a physical edge to his game, and he isn’t afraid to get to the dirty areas of the ice. He has great hands, an above average shot, and he’s only 23. Underutilized in Anaheim, Alain Vigneault and his coaching staff could help Etem reach his true potential. He’s only scored 15 goals in 112 NHL games, but he was largely thrown on the fourth line. Just watch this goal that he scored in Game 4 against the Winnepeg Jets and see what he’s capable of.

I like this move a lot. Of course, Hagelin was a great part of the team, a dependable winger and an awesome person, but he would have got over $4 million, which is too much with the Rangers cap issues. New York is home to a lot of young talent in guys like Jesper Fast, JT Miller, Oscar Lindberg and others, who all need a chance to shine. By acquiring Etem, the Rangers gain size without compromising a lot of speed.

Emerson Etem is a very high-ceiling player that’s only 23 years old and has a lot of room to grow. A line of Etem, Kevin Hayes and either JT Miller or Jesper Fast could wind up being really good. Etem is an RFA, and will be much more affordable than Hagelin. Expect a contract around $1 million for him.

This is a good move from Sather. Hagelin was not going to fit under the salary cap, and Etem gives the Rangers a young bottom-six forward with a lot of upside. The Rangers gained youth and size without compromising a lot of speed.

With Hagelin traded, that means the Rangers plans are probably to re-sign Stepan, Miller and Fast, as well as look into cheap free agency options come July 1st. The work isn’t done yet.

Good luck and best wishes to Carl Hagelin in Anaheim!

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Posted on June 27, 2015, in Rangers Updates and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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