Keith Yandle Will Give New York Rangers A New Offensive Dimension

Keith Yandle

The New York Rangers and Arizona Coyotes have completed a blockbuster trade on the eve of Monday’s 3 p.m. trade deadline.

Arizona has traded 28-year-old defenseman Keith Yandle, a 2016 fourth-round pick and 27-year-old defenseman Chris Summers to the Rangers in exchange for 24-year-old defenseman John Moore, 19-year-old prospect Anthony Duclair, a 2016 first-round draft pick and a 2015 second-round pick.

The Coyotes are understood to be retaining 50 percent of Yandle’s remaining salary. He is signed through the 2015-16 season. The Rangers will only be charged for half ($2.625 million) of Yandle’s remaining annual cap-hit of $5.25 million.

This trade is further evidence that the Rangers have entered into full win-now mode. General manager Glen Sather has now traded away a first-round draft pick in three consecutive seasons. In the summer of 2012, Sather shipped the Rangers’ 2013 first-round pick in the six-player deal that brought Rick Nash to Broadway. Last season, Sather included the team’s 2014 and 2015 first-round picks in the Ryan Callahan for Martin St. Louis swap.

The trade now gives the Rangers a very strong top-six defensemen in Yandle, Ryan McDonagh, Marc Staal, Dan Boyle, Dan Girardi and Kevin Klein. Yandle’s 41 points (four goals, 37 points) only trails Rick Nash, Derick Brassard, Martin St. Louis and Derek Stepan.

Yandle, a left-handed shooter will add a new dimension to the Rangers’ 11th-ranked, 18.8 percent power play. Yandle has recorded 26 power play points (two goals, 24 assists) this season. His rocket one-timer is a weapon and his explosive skating ability fits right in with head coach Alain Vigneault’s uptempo leanings.

Coyotes general manager Don Maloney wished Yandle the best of luck in New York. Previously, Yandle spent his entire career with the Coyotes after being drafted by Arizona in the fourth-round of the 2005 NHL Entry Draft.

“Keith Yandle was a terrific player and leader for us,” Maloney said. “We would like to thank him for all his contributions to the organization over the past nine seasons. We wish him and his family all the best in the future.”

Duclair is considered one of the brightest prospects on the planet. Notably, he formed excellent chemistry with Coyotes prospect Max Domi one Canada’s top line at the 2015 IIHF World Under-20 championship. Duclair and Domi’s outstanding performances helped Canada capture the gold medal. Both players finished in the top-ten in points at the tournament.

Maloney praised Duclair’s abilities.

“Anthony Duclair is a dynamic, skilled forward who has size, speed and offensive talent,” Maloney said. “He will be a valuable addition to our organization.”

Moore has fallen in and out of favor with Vigneault this season. Throughout the season, 24-year-old failed to lock down a role as the team’s sixth defenseman and was rotating with Matt Hunwick.

Summers has spent most of his career in the minors. The 27-year-old blue liner has collected nine points (two goals, seven assists) in 64 career NHL games. He is a career minus-22.


The Rangers have also traded veteran winger Lee Stempniak to the Winnipeg Jets for 24-year-old winger Carl Klingberg. Stempniak could provide depth scoring for the Jets. The 32-year-old was playing in an unfamiliar role with the Rangers, frequently skating on the fourth line. Klingberg has only played 12 career NHL games, recording one goal. Klingberg has a power forward’s frame at 6-foot-3, 205-pounds. He represented Sweden at the 2010 IIHF World Juniors, helping his country to the bronze medal.

Having shifted Stempniak’s $900,000 salary to Winnipeg, the Rangers will vital gain cap room. If sent to the minors, Klingberg’s $650,000 cap hit won’t count against the cap.


Updated: (8:30 p.m.)

The Rangers have completed a third Sunday trade. New York has dealt a 2016 fourth-round pick to the San Jose Sharks for 26-year-old forward James Sheppard. The pick sent to San Jose is not the same pick acquired in the Yandle trade, it’s the Rangers’ fourth-rounder.

Sheppard, a former ninth overall draft pick in the 2006 NHL Entry Draft has struggled with injuries and developed a reputation as an inconsistent scorer. Through 57 games, Sheppard has collected 16 points. Able to play center or wing, Sheppard offers versatility to the Rangers’ bottom-six. Sheppard agreed a one-year, $1.3 million contract with the Sharks in the summer.

Yandle has been given no. 93. Sheppard will wear no. 45.

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Sean Hartnett
Sean Hartnett has covered the New York Rangers and the NHL for since 2011. He has covered two Stanley Cup Finals. Sean now contributes to XNSports’ NHL and general sports coverage. He devotes far too much of his free time watching Simpsons and Seinfeld reruns. Sean can be reached via Twitter @HartnettHockey.