New York Rangers call up Lias Andersson. Precursor to a trade?

Lias Andersson, New York Rangers. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Lias Andersson, New York Rangers. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /

Thursday, the New York Rangers recalled prospect Lias Andersson from Hartford. The move is a precursor to trading Mats Zuccarello and Kevin Hayes.

The New York Rangers recalled 2017 first round draft pick Lias Andersson from Hartford on Thursday afternoon. When the news first broke, there was the thought that he was there to replace a traded player. That wasn’t the case. Excitement bubble burst. He played on the fourth line for the Blueshirts during their 4-1 home loss to Minnesota instead.

Two of the Rangers biggest offensive threats are on the trade block. Both right-wing, Mats Zuccarello and center, Kevin Hayes are headed to unrestricted free agency at the end of this season. It’s no secret that general manager Jeff Gorton will deal the pair ahead of the Monday, February 25 trade deadline.

More from Empire Writes Back

Last year the New York Rangers announced that they had run the course with the talent they had on the roster and going to rebuild the team immediately. In the purge that followed, Rick Nash and Nick Holden (Boston Bruins), Michael Grabner (New Jersey Devils), plus J.T. Miller and captain Ryan McDonagh (Tampa Bay Lightning) were traded for younger players and draft picks.

Zuccarello and Hayes are third and fourth respectively in Rangers scoring this season, as well as second and third in points per game. When the two are traded it will absolutely gut the Blueshirts offense.

That’s why Lias Andersson’s recall sent off buzzers throughout Rangers Nation. The 20-year-old, former seventh overall draft selection is thought to be a potentially dynamic player. Additionally, he like Hayes is a center. It’s only natural to think he would be replacing a major player.

For now, both Zuccarello and Hayes remain New York Rangers. The more I think about it, the more I like the idea of bringing up Andersson a few days early to get him acclimated with his teammates. In three days the vets will be elsewhere and the young Swede will have had five more days of practice time with the big club.

Next. Long live King Henrik. dark

Stay with Empire Writes Back for more Rangers trade deadline coverage.