Rangers trade Ryan McDonagh, JT Miller to Lightning

The Rangers captain has been dealt to Tampa just before the NHL trade deadline Monday.
Published : February 26, 2018 Updated : February 26, 2018
JT Miller (left), Ryan McDonagh (front). (Photo: Getty Images)

In the final moments before the NHL's 3 p.m. ET trade deadline on Monday afternoon, the New York Rangers traded defenseman and captain Ryan McDonagh to the Tampa Bay Lightning, as first reported by Bob McKenzie of TSN. 

 

Also apart of the deal is forward JT Miller. 

 

In return, the Rangers are getting back Libor Hajek, Brett Howden, Vladislav Nemestnikov, a 2018 first-round draft pick and a 2019 conditional first-round selection.

 

It's the final move of the Rangers dramatic and sudden rebuild. McDonagh and Miller join Michael Grabner (Devils), Rick Nash (Bruins) and Nick Holden (Bruins) as big names that have been dealt away from Madison Square Garden over the past week.

 

McDonagh is signed through the 2018-19 season and gives the Lightning a huge boost on the blue line as they look to stay atop the Eastern Conference playoff picture with an NHL-best 87 points. He'll reunite with Ryan Callahan, another Rangers captain that was dealt to Tampa Bay in 2014, and fellow defenseman Dan Girardi.

The 28-year-old defenseman has been a consistent leader on New York's blue line, playing in 71 or more games in each of the last five full NHL seasons. Since his debut in 2010, McDonagh amassed 238 points and a plus-141 rating. 

Miller ranked second among all Rangers skaters with 40 points (13 G, 27 A) this season, a third-line left winger that ranked second among all Blueshirt forwards with 85 hits.

While the two draft picks adds to New York's wealth of selections — they'll have three first rounders in 2018 alone — they are getting back two promising prospects in Hajek and Howden. 

The 6-foot-2 defenseman Hajek (20 years old) was selected 37th overall in the 2016 draft and had a breakout performance during the World Junior Championships for the Czech Republic in Buffalo last month after impressing during the preseason. 

Howden (19) is another youngster who is enjoying a stellar season with the Moose Jaw Warriors of the WHL. In 38 games this season, the big 6-foot-3 left winger has 22 goals and 36 assists (58 points).

While those can be two valuable future assets, Namestnikov can be plugged into New York's top lines right now.

The 25-year-old was enjoying a career season with 20 goals and 24 assists flanking Steven Stamkos and Ryan Callahan on the left wing of Tampa Bay's first line. He'll either replace Chris Kreider on New York's first line or Jimmy Vesey on the second upon his arrival. 

 

 
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