Colorado Avalanche: Shopping in the New York Rangers Store

NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 05: Jimmy Vesey #26 of the New York Rangers skates with the puck against the Colorado Avalanche at Madison Square Garden on October 5, 2017 in New York City. The Colorado Avalanche won 4-2. (Photo by Jared Silber/NHLI via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 05: Jimmy Vesey #26 of the New York Rangers skates with the puck against the Colorado Avalanche at Madison Square Garden on October 5, 2017 in New York City. The Colorado Avalanche won 4-2. (Photo by Jared Silber/NHLI via Getty Images) /

The Colorado Avalanche might be considering a trade with the New York Rangers. Here are five players they may be looking at.

The Colorado Avalanche are at the cusp of their season. They might be a team looking to sell assets in the name of the next phase of their rebuild. Or, they might be a team looking to fortify their roster for a playoff push and beyond.

I hope it’s the latter. And if they are in that position, one of the teams they may be considering a trade with is the New York Rangers.

According to Avs insider Adrian Dater, the Rangers have been sniffing around the organization for a while:

They’ve been showing up at both Avalanche and Eagles games. So, it’s hard to know who they’re really interested in.

At the time of writing, New York was nine points out of a playoff position. So, I’m guessing they’re not gearing up for a playoff push. If they’re sniffing around the Avs, they’re not looking to give up picks in return for NHL-ready players. More like the opposite — they might be looking to sell of assets for picks and prospects.

I’ve already ranked who is the most likely to be traded this year by Colorado:

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Concerning picks, I’d say anything but Ottawa’s first rounder might be up for grabs. So, if the Avalanche were looking to trade with New York, it would likely be for NHL-ready players or decent prospects.

Kevin Hayes

Center Kevin Hayes is the name that most often comes up — seems like he’s on the trade block for the Rangers. The 26-year-old center will be an unrestricted free agent this summer. Naturally, he’s having a strong showing in his contract year — 33 points (10 goals, 23 assists) in 40 games so far.

Those aren’t numbers to write home about, though, especially since his career-best season was 49 points (17 goals, 32 assists) two years ago. Unless Colorado could get him for a late-rounder, I don’t know why they’d bother when they can just pick him up in the off season.

I only bring Hayes up because, as I said, his is the name that keeps coming up in trade rumors, especially with the Avs.

Jimmy Vesey

Left wing Jimmy Vesey is a different story. The 25-year-old has another year after this one on his contract. The third-year veteran has 24 points (11 goals, 13 assists) in 48 games. He’s also a little bit in coach David Quinn’s dog house, having gotten benched earlier this month.

Vesey was a second-round draft pick by the Nashville Predators who pulled an Alexander Kerfoot, graduating from Harvard and signing with a different team. The big (6-foot-3, 206 pounds) winger likes to use his build to play a grittier game but has goal-scoring ability. He’s also a solid two-way player, which fits in with the Avalanche’s style.

I don’t want to speculate exactly what Colorado might be willing to give up for Vesey. However, if Joe Sakic is seriously fielding calls from Rangers GM Jeff Gorton, I’d imagine Vesey’s name has at least come up.

Brady Skjei

I want Brady Skjei on the Colorado Avalanche just because of his name’s appearance in the SNL skit:

That said, the New York Rangers appear to value their 24-year-old defenseman quite highly — he’s signed for the next six years for $5.25 million per. He’s not a big offensive producer, but he’s a big two-way defenseman who can skate well. He’d be an ideal heir apparent for Erik Johnson, though we already have that in Nikita Zadorov.

Plus, the Rangers would want a lot for Mr. Skjei. Better move on.

Tony DeAngelo

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If the Colorado Avalanche really had it in mind to bolster their blueline,  they’d probably be eyeballing Tony DeAngelo. The 23-year-old defender is right up Colorado’s alley, being a smallish puck-mover with excellent offensive instincts. He’s also a smooth skater who can quarterback the power play. Plus, you know, he has defensive deficiencies — like I said, right up the Avs’ alley.

Like Vesey, DeAngelo has been in and out of the dog house. Last year, he earned just eight assists in 32 games with the Rangers and was a -18. He even bounced down to the AHL for a bit. However, he’s improved this season, recording 12 points (4 goals, 8 assists) in 32 games with a +4 rating.

Again, I’d hazard a guess that DeAngelo is at least on Colorado’s radar. However, he might be the kind of player that’s involved in a larger trade.

Alexandar Georgiev

As we know, goal tending has turned out to be a big area of need for the Avalanche. The Rangers, of course, have Henrik Lundqvist, who will play his whole career for New York. Behind King Henrik they have Alexandar Georgiev.

The 22-year-old Georgiev is the best the Rangers have in a decent stable of young goalie prospects. In 17 games with New York, he’s recorded a .897 save percentage, which ain’t great. However, he did better last year. Plus, he’s just 22 — he could be seen as a development project.

I don’t know if that’s a risk Colorado wants to take. It depends if the Avs think he’s better than their own prospects, Pavel Francouz and Spencer Martin.

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As I mentioned above, the biggest targets I could see Joe Sakic wanting would be Vesey and DeAngelo. I’m sure the Rangers would prefer Colorado take on Hayes. Maybe they’d be willing to package Vesey or DeAngelo with Hayes for a pick and a prospect — maybe a third rounder and someone along the lines of A.J. Greer or Logan O’Connor.

Should the Colorado Avalanche make a deal like that? You tell me.