Fantasy Impact: The New York Rangers traded defenseman Ryan McDonagh to the Tampa Bay Lightning for forward Vladislav Namestnikov, prospect forward Brett Howden, prospect defenseman Libor Hajek, a 2018 first-round draft pick and a conditional second-round draft pick.
The Rangers get: a second-line forward who showed he could thrive on a top line playing with superstars, but Namestnikov may just be a 50-point player without that help. In fact, Miller probably has more offensive talent and upside. But they also get a top prospect in Howden, who I have ranked 112th on my Top Fantasy Prospect Forwards list – and he moves up with this deal. You can read our scouting report on Howden here. Howden, drafted 27th overall two summers ago, had seven points in seven games for Team Canada at the WJC last month and he has 58 points in 38 games as captain of the Moose Jaw Warriors of the WHL.
Hajek was drafted 37th overall that same year and is ranked 72nd on my Top Fantasy Prospect Defensemen list. He, too, moves up on that list by quite a bit. He had eight points in seven games for Team Czech Republic at the WJC – this is a defenseman! You can read our scouting report on Hajek here. Both prospects are about two years away from the NHL with this franchise, which is why both will be moving up my lists.
The Lightning get: the second best defenseman on the trading block, plus a young forward with potential and talent to fill any position in the top nine – forward or wing. Miller’s versatility could prove valuable come playoff time. McDonagh adds the steadying presence and postseason experience that could put this team over the top.
Fantasy Players I