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New York Islanders 2019 Metropolitan Division Preview: New York Rangers

UNIONDALE, NEW YORK - FEBRUARY 02: A fan holds a sign during the game between the New York Islanders and the Los Angeles Kings at NYCB Live's Nassau Coliseum on February 02, 2019 in Uniondale, New York. The Islanders defeated the Kings 4-2. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
UNIONDALE, NEW YORK - FEBRUARY 02: A fan holds a sign during the game between the New York Islanders and the Los Angeles Kings at NYCB Live's Nassau Coliseum on February 02, 2019 in Uniondale, New York. The Islanders defeated the Kings 4-2. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
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COLUMBUS, OH – FEBRUARY 18: Artemi Panarin #9 of the Columbus Blue Jackets warms up prior to the start of the game against the Tampa Bay Lightning on February 18, 2019 at Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images)

Offseason Moves

Additions

Artemi Panarin (LW)

They went fishing in free agency and got the biggest fish on the market. Artemi Panarin wanted to be with the New York Rangers and he got his wish to the tune of a seven-year $81.5 million contract ($11.65 million AAV).

The point-per-game winger immediately gives the Rangers forward core a huge asset. The Rangers finished 24th in terms of goals for last season. With Artemi Panarin that number will go up in 2019-20

Jakub Trouba (D)

After trading away Ryan McDonagh, the Rangers were looking for that number one defenseman. That guy who could lug big minutes on the blue line and contribute offensively. They found that with Jakub Trouba.

With 50 points last year, the right-handed defenseman was a coveted defensive asset. And the Rangers got him for Neal Pionk and the Jets very own first-round pick in 2019 (20th overall).

With Trouba and the addition of Harvard alumn Adam Fox, the Rangers blueline looks much better than it has in years past.

Kappo Kakko (RW)

Doing poorly in the standings has its perks. The Rangers were able to luck their way into a second overall pick at the 2019 NHL draft. They’d use that pick to take Finnish sniper Kappo Kakko.

The 18-year-old scored 22 goals and 38 points for TPS int he Finnish Liiga. At 6’3″ and 195 lbs Kakko is ready for the NHL. Siding him next to fellow winger Artemi Panarin and center Mika Zibanejad gives the Rangers a strong and quite young top line.

Subtractions

Kevin Hayes (C)

Gone to the Winnipeg Jets, the Rangers second-line center was traded for a first-round pick that was used to acquired Jakub Trouba.

But now the Rangers are looking at a depth chart that features Mika Zibanejad, Ryan Strome, Brett Howden, and Filip Chytl. The Rangers depth down the middle is suspect.

Kevin Shattenkirk (D)

Going back home just didn’t work for Kevin Shattenkirk. Two years after the Rangers picked him up in the free agency window for $26.6 million, the Rangers were buying out his contract.

The buyout was necessary to fit both Panarin and Trouba under the cap ceiling and doesn’t weaken them in slightest.

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