A day after it became clear the Rangers would not be buying out the two remaining seasons of Patrik Nemeth‘s contract, GM Chris Drury moved the remaining two years of Patrik Nemeth‘s contract to the Arizona Coyotes, along with two draft picks in exchange for 22 year old AHLer Ty Emberson.
The move had been anticipated, and the cost proved to be relatively substantial, with a 2025 2nd round pick as well as a potential 2026 2nd round pick going the other way. The Coyotes will have the option to move the 2026 pick forward and convert it to a 2024 3rd round pick if they so choose.
Signed last Summer to a surprising three year contract with an AAV of $2.5M and a limited No Trade Clause, Nemeth was expected to provide some stiffness on the third pair, and also perhaps serve as a mentor to former first round pick Nils Lundkvist.
It became apparent though, that Nemeth struggled with the Rangers speedy system, and this was only exacerbated after he contracted COVID prior to the holiday break last year. Although he eventually made it back to the line-up, his play – along with the uncertainty around the trajectory for rookie Braden Schneider, who had surpassed Lundkvist and ultimately secured a regular spot in the line-up, lead to the Drury adding Justin Braun at the deadline as insurance.
As it turns out, Nemeth was the one that Braun would replace, moving past him in the depth chart for good early in the playoffs.
By sending two potential second rounders, the Rangers give up a couple of useful trade/draft assets to get out from the self-inflicted salary challenges that they have created over the last few years, and buy themselves around $1.5M in additional space. It also opens the possibility that one of Zac Jones, Nils Lundkvist or Matthew Robertson could find their way onto the roster for opening night.