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Trade Coverage

Derek Stepan, Antti Raanta traded to Coyotes by Rangers

New York gets defenseman Anthony DeAngelo, No. 7 pick in 2017 NHL Draft

by Dan Rosen @drosennhl / Senior Writer

CHICAGO -- The New York Rangers got younger and opened NHL salary cap space but created some holes in their lineup Friday by trading center Derek Stepan and goalie Antti Raanta to the Arizona Coyotes for 21-year-old defenseman Anthony DeAngelo and the No. 7 pick in the 2017 NHL Draft presented by adidas.

Stepan has four years remaining on his contract, which has a $6.5 million annual salary cap charge, and Raanta has one year and $1 million remaining on his contract, according to DeAngelo has two years remaining on his entry-level contract, which carries an $863,333 cap charge.

"It was an opportunity for us," Rangers general manager Jeff Gorton said. "Obviously we have some salary cap issues, so we had that to worry about. And the opportunity to go in the top 10 [in the draft], there are some players we like that we wanted to get in there. Anthony DeAngelo is a player we've liked and a certain type of player that we don't have. When you put all those things together, I think that's the biggest reason why [we made the trade]."

Gorton said the Rangers like DeAngelo because he's a right-handed, puck-moving defenseman. He had 14 points (five goals, nine assists) in 39 games with the Coyotes this season, and 16 points (three goals, 13 assists) in 25 games with Tucson of the American Hockey League.


[ RELATED: Fantasy impact of Stepan-Raanta trade | 2017-18 NHL Trade Tracker ]


It's possible DeAngelo could play on the Rangers' top defense pair with Ryan McDonagh, but Gorton said that hasn't been decided because the defense is a work in progress, an indication New York could make more moves.

"He's a guy that can run a power play, he's young and can really skate," Gorton said of DeAngelo. "He can do a lot of things we need, and the way the game is played today, we like him going forward."

The Rangers used the No. 7 pick on forward Lias Andersson, and with their own pick, No. 21, drafted forward Filip Chytil.

The Rangers hadn't had a first-round pick since the 2012 NHL Draft, when they selected defenseman Brady Skjei at No. 28. They hadn't drafted in the top 10 since 2010, when they selected defenseman Dylan McIlrath at No. 10.

However, Gorton said he was reluctant to give up Stepan and Raanta.

Stepan, 27, had 55 points (17 goals, 38 assists) in 81 games this season and six points (two goals, four assists) in 12 Stanley Cup Playoff games. He has 360 points (128 goals, 232 assists) in 515 games during seven NHL seasons, all with the Rangers.

Raanta, 28, a backup during his first four NHL seasons, went 16-8-2 with a 2.26 goals-against average and .922 save percentage and four shutouts. He is 47-23-9 with a 2.32 GAA, .917 save percentage and eight shutouts in 94 NHL games, including 78 starts, with the Rangers and Chicago Blackhawks.

"The last seven years for me are a big part of my life and something I'll never forget," Stepan said. "I played some really fun hockey games at [Madison Square Garden]. It's going to be something that I'm surely going to miss, but at the same time, this is a business. New York and Arizona made a business move and I'm starting my new life in Arizona. I couldn't be more excited to get down there."

The trade means the Rangers have about $20 million in salary cap space they can use to acquire players in trades or through free agency, according to Gorton said he feels the trade market is good.

"There is more opportunity when you have cap space," Gorton said. "It's a big part of this trade."

The Rangers have to use some of that cap space to replace two centers, Stepan and Oscar Lindberg, who they lost to the Vegas Golden Knights in the 2017 NHL Expansion Draft.

Gorton said he considers Mika Zibanejad and Kevin Hayes to be centers who should play in the top six forwards, so it's possible the Rangers will look at depth centers rather than trying to make a splash for a No. 1.

"It's hard for us to say what we're going to look like right now," Gorton said. "There's a lot of different things on the table."

Gorton said the Coyotes would not have made the trade without New York including Raanta, who projects as Arizona's No. 1 goalie next season. He would replace Mike Smith, who was traded to the Calgary Flames on June 17.

Gorton said the Rangers were willing to trade Raanta because they feel there is a robust market for goalies who can step in and be Henrik Lundqvist's backup. Among the notable projected backup goalies expected to become unrestricted free agents on July 1 are Jonathan Bernier, Brian Elliott, Chad Johnson, Keith Kinkaid and Mike Condon.

"We've had success in this organization with goalies," Gorton said. "I think [goalie coach Benoit Allaire] is a big part of it. The ability to go get somebody that can play behind [Lundqvist], I think we can do that. We see a number of names out there."

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