Kevin Rooney

Kevin Over Colin

With lists due to the NHL by 5:00pm Eastern Saturday, and a trade freeze starting two hours before – and running until 1:00pm Thursday – the Rangers were about to give us the first clues as to what might happen this offseason.

The re-signing of both Julien Gauthier and Brett Howden prior to the deadline suggested that the Rangers might want some different options on the protection list, or in the case of Howden, it proved to be for the purposes of a trade.

As it turned out, Howden got traded before the freeze kicked in, and the Rangers submitted a protected list that did not include Julien Gauthier or Colin Blackwell.

Full Protected List

Pavel Buchnevich
Filip Chytil
Chris Kreider
Artemi Panarin
Kevin Rooney
Ryan Strome
Mika Zibanejad

Libor Hajek
Ryan Lindgren
Jacob Trouba

Alexandar Georgiev

That left the following players unprotected:
Anthony Bitetto
Colin Blackwell
Jonny Brodzinski
Brandon Crawley
Tony DeAngelo
Gabriel Fontaine
Julien Gauthier
Mason Geertsen
Timothy Gettinger
Anthony Greco
Keith Kinkaid
Ty Ronning

The Rangers certainly benefitting from a young roster, with many players exempt from the protection list, meaning it really came down to whether they’d protect Blackwell, Rooney or Gauthier (after the Howden trade).

As it turns out they chose to pick fourth line forward Kevin Rooney, whom they signed as a UFA last October.

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