The New York Rangers traded defenseman Nick Holden to the Boston Bruins for defenseman Rob O’Gara and a 2018 third-round draft selection on Tuesday afternoon.
It’s the first notable move made the Rangers before the NHL’s Feb. 26 trade deadline in which the team is expected to be sellers. Notable names like Rick Nash and Ryan McDonagh have seen their names surface in trade talks over the last few weeks.
Holden was just one struggling member of a sub-par Rangers defense this season, the seven-year veteran recording 12 points and a minus-3 rating in 55 games this season on the second defensive unit most recently beside Anthony DeAngelo.
The Rangers acquired Holden prior to the 2016-17 season in a trade with the Colorado Avalanche.
Boston has been in search of some defensive depth on their blue line as they continue to pursue the Tampa Bay Lightning for the top spot in the Eastern Conference and Holden provides a veteran presence and depth option on the third defensive pairing with Adam McQuaid recently recovering from injury alongside 24-year-old Matt Grzelcyk.
In return, the Rangers get a 24-year-old blueliner of their own in O’Gara, who has just 11 games of NHL experience under his belt.
The Massapequa, NY native has skated in 43 games with the Providence Bruins of the AHL, recording eight points and a plus-5 rating.
At 6-foot-4 and pushing 210 pounds, he’s a big body the Rangers can insert on defense should they want to continue giving their younger players like DeAngelo, 22-year-old Neal Pionk and 24-year-old John Gilmour some time in the NHL.