The New York Rangers are keen to trade Nils Lundkvist ahead of the new season, with the Swedish defenseman seemingly not a key part of Gerard Gallant’s plans for 2022-23. It’s generally agreed that while the 22-year-old is a talented young player, he hasn’t made a big enough impact when called upon.

In 25 regular season games, Lundkvist has managed a rather sedate return of three assists and one goal, and Rangers feel that now is the right time to trade the player as they feel they can get a good return on the player they signed in June 2021.

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One team said to be looking at snapping up Lundkvist is the Montreal Canadiens, with the New York Post reporting of their apparent interest;

“The Post has learned that general manager Chris Drury has been working with Lundkvist’s agent, Claude Lemieux, in order to effect a trade to an organization in which the Swede would have a better opportunity to challenge for a top-four spot and role as a power-play quarterback.”

Lundkvist was considered a hot prospect when he left Sweden to put on the Rangers jersey, and the consensus is that he would make an impact last season, but the abundance of options in the role he plays meant that Nils was something of a bit-part player.

He was farmed out to the AHL with the Hartford Wolf Pack but may well make a bigger impact with whichever franchise seeks to take the calculated risk of taking Lundkvist onto their roster.

On the subject of comings and goings at MSG, 29-year-old Jimmy Vesey could be set to rejoin the team he left in the summer of 2019. The experienced left-winger has been given a tryout contract and will seek to impress.

He had a solid season at the New Jersey Devils last time around and is a good backup option or an opportunity to add depth to Gallant’s roster. 

Last season proved to be the best the Rangers have managed since 2014-15, with their regular season record of 82-52 securing them second place in the Eastern Metropolitan, and it’s a return to form that Gallant will be keen to maintain and build upon.

Gallant is hoping that the young talents in his set-up can be the bedrock of that progression, commenting recently;

“We’ve got to put people on the right side that are going to play on the top lines,” 

“We like those kids [Kakko and Lafreniere]. Both had tremendous seasons. Last season, from the second half on, I thought they were excellent. They took big steps. That’s what we’re going to expect from them again. The opportunity is there for them to have big years.”

Perhaps this year can see the Rangers pick up their first Stanley Cup triumph since 1993/94, and in the current betting, they are sitting at around (+1700), which puts them in ninth/tenth place in the rankings.