When Carolina traded Elias Lindholm and Noah Hanifin to Calgary, getting back Dougie Hamilton, Micheal Ferland, and prospect defenceman Adam Fox, it appeared pretty obvious that Fox would be the crux of the trade, and which team would end up the winner would depend on Carolina’s ability to sign Fox.
Well, we can forget about all that as Carolina has traded Fox to the New York Rangers in exchange for a 2nd round pick this year (their own, 37th overall) and a conditional third next year. Fox is expected to sign an entry-level deal with the Rangers right away:
NYR in the process of finalizing an entry-level contract for Fox.
— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) April 30, 2019
According to Cap Friendly, the condition on the third rounder is that if Fox plays at least 30 games for the Rangers in 2019-20, it moves to a second rounder.
Fox is coming off his junior season at Harvard University where he was a finalist for the Hobey Baker Award. You can read all about him at Dobber Prospects here.
As I’ve often repeated, I’m not a scout. I rely on the expertise of those here at Dobber – and elsewhere – when it comes to prospects. When it comes to scouting Fox, then, I’d recommend reading what our Dobber Prospects team has to say rather than me.
What I will say is that there is a clear path to ice to for Fox here. Outside of Tony DeAngelo, how many Rangers defencemen had even a decent season in 2018-19, even when taking the poor team quality into context? And DeAngelo was still a healthy scratch at times, as was Kevin Shattenkirk. Both Brady Skjei and Neal Pionk had rough years, the latter more than the former. Brendan Smith was moved up front at times. All this adds up to a pretty simple statement for Fox: if he shows he’s capable of playing in the NHL (which I think he is), and he wants to play in the NHL next season, he’ll be in the NHL in 2019-20.
There is still a lot of time between this trade and the start of next season, however. He has to commit to playing next year, he has to earn his spot, et cetera et cetera. But if he’s on the roster in October, and is as good as I think he is, this is a guy who could stroll right to a 30-point season as a baseline. He showed his tendency for shooting this year at Harvard (118 shots in 33 games) and his offensive prowess could help separate himself immediately.
Now, there’s a nagging voice in the back of my head that says the Rangers want to get the most out of the Shattenkirk contract that they can. But they were willing to healthy scratch him last year, and that would indicate to me that Fox has at least a chance of top PP minutes this year.
All told, the Rangers are moving in the right direction. They have two first round picks this year, including the likely Kakko pick, they have Vitali Kravtsov likely on the way, there are loads of young, talented forwards already in the NHL like Pavel Buchnevich, Filip Chytil, and Lias Andersson, and now they’ve traded for Fox. The rebuild was… quick.