Report: Rangers Acquire Keith Yandle From Coyotes In Blockbuster Trade

The New York Rangers made a surprise run to the 2014 Stanley Cup Final, and general manager Glen Sather has made a bold NHL trade deadline move to increase his team’s chances of going on a similar playoff run this season.

New York has acquired Phoenix Coyotes defenseman Keith Yandle in a blockbuster trade involving several players and draft picks, per TSN’s Darren Dreger. [tweet align=”center”]

The Rangers had to give a lot for Yandle. Anthony Duclair is a former third-round draft pick with enormous potential. He’s a highly skilled winger with 25 points in 19 games for the Quebec Ramparts (QMJHL) this season and projects to be a first-line player. The Blueshirts also gave up a protected 2016 first-round pick and depth defenseman John Moore. This trade leaves New York without a first-round pick in both 2015 and 2016. It also didn’t have a first rounder in 2013 or 2014.

Yandle, a Boston native, is a high-scoring offensive defenseman capable of playing 20-plus minutes per game in a top-4 role. He has one more year with a $5.25 million salary cap hit remaining on his contract, and Arizona also will pay 50 percent of his salary. [tweet align=”center”]

The Rangers have a great chance to win the Eastern Conference — assuming No. 1 goalie Henrik Lundqvist returns from injury with no setbacks — because there’s no clear favorite this season. It’s a bold move by New York general manager Glen Sather, but his team’s window to win is right now.

This deal is a fantastic one for Arizona. It has acquired excellent assets in preparation for what should be a full rebuild over the next few years. Here’s a summary of the Coyotes’ trade activity leading up to the deadline.

Acquired: Anthony Duclair, John Moore, Klas Dahlbeck, 2015 first-round pick, 2016 first-round pick, 2015 second-round pick
Departed: Antoine Vermette, Keith Yandle, Chris Summers, 2016 fourth-round pick

The Coyotes have the third-worst record in the league and are positioned to have a great chance for one of the top two picks in this year’s draft lottery. The thought of a top-six forward group featuring top prospects Anthony Duclair, Max Domi and possibly Connor McDavid or Jack Eichel (the top two prospects in the 2015 draft class) is an exciting one for Coyotes fans.

An abundance of first-round picks is no guarantee of future success — just look at the Edmonton Oilers — but it gives Coyotes general manager Don Maloney plenty of assets to build his team through the draft or in trades. That’s a good situation for a team that’s historically ran a tight budget and hasn’t enjoyed much success signing marquee players in free agency.

Top targets ahead of NHL trade deadline>>

Thumbnail photo via Anne-Marie Sorvin/USA TODAY Sports Images

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