As the trade freeze went into effect ahead of next Wednesday’s expansion draft, GM Chris Drury executed his first two trades since taking over the job, sending fourth line forward Brett Howden to Vegas in exchange for 26 year old minor leaguer Nick DeSimone and a 2022 4th rounder, along with a 2022 7th round pick to Tampa for the negotiating rights to Barclay Goodrow.
Having been acquired in 2018, Howden – a first round pick of the Tampa Bay Lightning – showed some promise in his first pro season, and quickly established himself as a regular. Since that time the 23 year old has struggled to progress, finishing the past season with just one goal – an empty netter, in 42 games played. With the Rangers wanting to add more edge to their line-up, Howden was always going to be a likely target for replacement.
With respect to DeSimone, he was included only because Vegas needed to include a player, and he is not expected to be resigned per Mollie Walker.
With Goodrow, there is similar risk. At 28 years of age, Goodrow will be a UFA for the first itme and could look to cash in on two straight Stanley Cups, and the Western Conference Finals prior to that. Goodrow has established himself as a gritty third liner on the Lightning, averaging just over 15 minutes of ice time per game.
Early reports suggest there are teams willing to offer the role-playing forward substantial term, as much as 6 years, which could tempt him to go test his value, rather than stick with the Rangers. If Drury is able to work a deal, then likely it’ll be an overpayment for the type of player the team is looking to add.