The Coyotes have announced that they have acquired former first round pick Lauri Korpikoski from the Rangers in exchange for right wing Enver Lisin. The deal re-unites Korpikoski with Don Maloney, the man who drafted him while serving as the Rangers’ Assistant GM.
The move likely comes as a result of Korpikoski being reportedly unhappy with his contract offer, and brings back to the Rangers another enigmatic Russian winger. Lisin has played parts of three seasons with the Phoenix Coyotes, but is still yet to establish himself as a full time NHLer.
The 6-2, 190lb Russian winger is an RFA and could possibly return to Russia to play in the KHL if the Rangers cannot work out a deal. Drafted in the second round – 50th overall – of the 2004 NHL Entry Draft, Lisin has always been a high risk/reward type player with highlight reel moves and above average skating, but does not necessarily have the hockey sense that premiere players have.
A projected 25 goal scorer who managed 13 goals in 48 games last season with the Coyotes, he will likely have to shift to the left wing for the Rangers if he hopes to make the roster.
In Korpikoski the Rangers give up a player who appeared to be a genuine third/fourth liner with tremendous breakaway speed, good defensive instincts and a credible work ethic.