The Rangers could look to acquire an underrated winger at the trade deadline

nhl: san jose sharks at vancouver canucks, andrei kuzmenko, new york rangers
Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Rangers are still in the market for a new top-six forward as the 2024 NHL trade deadline looms ahead. Kaapo Kakko has recently returned from injury, and although he’s played well in his first two games back, there’s still a strong chance that GM Chris Drury will be looking for a more developed solution to this massive hole in the roster.

The Vancouver Canucks may be looking to move on from a currently struggling winger

Last year, Andrei Kuzmenko dazzled in his first career season as he tallied 39 goals and 74 points for the Vancouver Canucks. It looked like he was going to be the next big thing in western Canada, but he’s struggled quite a bit in his second season. He has just 19 points in 38 games played and has been a healthy scratch a handful of times during Vancouver’s overall successful first half of the year.

At this point, it seems as if the Canucks would be willing to move on from Kuzmenko by this season’s trade deadline. Per BetMGM, he is ranked fifth in the league in potential trade targets. He does have a no-trade clause, but if the right move presents itself, Kuzmenko could very well waive it.

Should the Rangers consider trading for Kuzmenko?

Although Kuzmenko is not as elite as he was last season, he still presents himself as a solid winger. Perhaps a new environment is all he needs to get back on track after an incredible first year, and that could very well be in New York City.

Any team that targets Kuzmenko at the trade deadline would do so in order to bolster their top six. Not only do the Rangers need a top-six forward, but Kuzmenko plays the exact position the Rangers are looking for. His $5.5 million cap hit may present a bit of an issue for Drury, but he’s managed to pull off stunts with worse odds. If Kuzmenko does end up being on the trade block in early March, there’s no doubt that Drury should make some calls over to Vancouver.

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