What Jonny Brodzinski's Extension Means for the Rangers' Trade Deadline

The Rangers have rewarded their third line center with a contract extension thanks to his solid play this season

Feb 7, 2024; New York, New York, USA; New York Rangers center Jonny Brodzinski (22) celebrates with
Feb 7, 2024; New York, New York, USA; New York Rangers center Jonny Brodzinski (22) celebrates with / Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

Following the New York Rangers' eighth win in a row, Chris Drury got to work in extending one of the team's key pieces.

The team extended Jonny Brodzinski's contract for two years with a $787,5000 average annual value. Brodzinski has been a vital part of the team that sits atop the Metro Division, especially after Filip Chytil's season-ending injury.

The play of the third line of Kakko, Brodzinski, and Cuylle has given the Rangers a truly great defensive line as the unit looks like a line you want on the ice with a lead in the playoffs. The group is starting to click offensively as well with Kaapo Kakko finding his game offensively. The journeyman center has played well enough on both ends of the ice to earn the right to play as the team's third line center for the remainder of the season.

This move nearly eliminates any chances of the Rangers trading for a center at the trade deadline and rightfully so. As seen with the Elias Lindholm and Sean Monahan trades the center market is going to command a high asking price which the Rangers are likely to shy away from. The team also doesn't need a center as much as it needs a first-line right wing.

The injury to Blake Wheeler has further pushed Chris Drury and the front office toward acquiring a first-line winger at the trade deadline. The team will need to add an offensive player that can score in 5 on 5 play to help Chris Kreider and Mika Zibanejad in scoring.

Who Will the Rangers Add at the Deadline?

The question over the next few weeks will be which player is the most likely fit on the Rangers. The player that makes the most sense is Frank Vatrano, who's played with Kreider and Mika and has helped the line in scoring. Vladimir Tarasenko would make sense too as the team saw him play on the top line for some time last season. The issue with trading for Tarasenko or Vatrano will be the price tag in terms of capital required and the Rangers standing with the salary cap. The Rangers have a team capable of making a run for the Stanley Cup and a coach that can get them there but, they need to fully embrace this season being the year at the deadline.

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