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Frank Seravalli

TSN Senior Hockey Reporter

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The New York Rangers are on the verge of entering the NHL all-star break outside of a Stanley Cup playoff spot for the first time since 2010.

No one is anywhere near close to throwing in the towel in New York – certainly not with the way Henrik Lundqvist has played this season – but Rangers GM Jeff Gorton is willing to tinker with his team.

In fact, the belief is Gorton will entertain offers not just for his pending unrestricted free agents, but also players that makeup the core of the Blueshirts.

Few Rangers are considered to be truly “off limits,” like top prospects Lias Andersson or Igor Shestyorkin.

That’s why Rangers captain Ryan McDonagh is among five fresh names on TSN’s Trade Bait board. Multiple teams are believed to have expressed interest in McDonagh, even though any potential foundation-shaking deal for New York may well wait until the off-season.

Either way, the Rangers are seemingly heading towards decision day with McDonagh in the near future – possibly this summer. He has one season left at $4.7 million and is eligible to sign a contract extension as early as July 1.

In the short term, McDonagh, 28, has a modified no-trade clause in which he can block a trade to 10 teams.

The four other newcomers to TSN’s Trade Bait are St. Louis Blues prospect Jordan Kyrou, Buffalo Sabres winger Sam Reinhart, Colorado Avalanche winger Blake Comeau and Winnipeg Jets centre Nic Petan.

Kyrou, 19, becomes the first player in recent memory to join the board as a prospect. He has been on fire for the Sarnia Sting after helping Team Canada to gold at the World Junior Hockey Championship earlier this month in Buffalo.

Kyrou collected 11 points in just three contests last week for OHL Sarnia as the Sting halted Sault Ste. Marie’s points streak at 29 games. He has 23 goals and 73 points in just 35 OHL games this season.

So, why would the Blues want to move a blossoming 35th overall pick?

Well, the short answer is, they don’t. But in order to get, you must give. The Blues are in the market for an impact winger ahead of the Feb. 26 trade deadline. If they were to pursue a player like Buffalo’s Evander Kane, who remains No. 1 on the board and a potential strong fit, it’s possible that Kyrou could be part of some sort of package to make that happen.

Plus, the Blues’ three first-round picks from 2016 and 2017 – Tage Thompson, Robert Thomas and Klim Kostin – all play centre. Thompson, 20, has five points in 19 games for the Blues this season.

The arms race is on in the Central Division.

The Jets are also in the market for a winger or centre who can plug into their top two lines. That give-to-get motto is why Petan makes the board, although there has been plenty of interest in Jack Roslovic, who is a point-per-game player for the AHL’s Manitoba Moose this season.

With 32 days to go until TradeCentre, here are the Top 30 players on TSN’s Trade Bait board:

 

The Top 30 Players

 
Player Pos Age 17-18 Cap Hit GP G PTS Past 17-18 Clause
1. Evander Kane, BUF LW 26 $5.25M 48 16 36 UFA  
2. Patrick Maroon, EDM LW 29 $1.5M 46 13 26 UFA  
3. Mike Green, DET RD 32 $6M 47 5 26 UFA NTC
4. Mike Hoffman, OTT LW 28 $5.19M 46 12 30 2 years M-NTC
5. Max Pacioretty, MTL LW 29 $4.5M 48 15 29 1 year  
6. Thomas Vanek, VAN LW 33 $2M 48 14 35 UFA  
7. Alex Galchenyuk, MTL LW 23 $4.9M 48 12 28 2 years  
8. Michael Grabner, NYR LW 30 $1.65M 48 21 25 UFA  
9. Zack Smith, OTT LW 29 $3.25M 32 3 11 3 years M-NTC
10. Ryan McDonagh, NYR LD 28 $4.7M 44 0 22 1 year M-NTC
11. James Neal, VGK LW 30 $5M 47 22 34 UFA M-NTC
12. Ian Cole, PIT LD 28 $2.1M 36 2 7 UFA  
13. Jordan Kyrou, STL C/RW 19 $894K 0 0 0 3 years ELC
14. Erik Gudbranson, VAN RD 26 $3.5M 32 1 3 UFA  
15. Rick Nash, NYR  LW 33 $7.8M 49 15 25 UFA M-NTC
16. Aaron Dell, SJS G 28 $625K 21 2.32 .923 UFA  
17. Mark Letestu, EDM C 32 $1.8M 48 8 16 UFA  
18. Andrew Shaw, MTL C/RW 26 $3.9M 43 10 19 4 years  
19. Jean-Gabriel Pageau, OTT C 25 $3.1M 42 6 15 2 years  
20. David Perron, VGK RW 29 $3.75M 41 11 40 UFA M-NTC
21. Nic Petan, WPG C 22 $863K 6 0 0 RFA  
22. Jack Johnson, CBJ LD 31 $4.35M 48 2 7 UFA  
23. Nick Holden, NYR LD 30 $1.65M 44 3 9 UFA  
24. Petr Mrazek, DET G 25 $4M 15 3.12 .904 RFA  
25. Sam Reinhart, BUF RW 22 $3.54M 48 9 19 RFA  
26. Dion Phaneuf, OTT LD 32 $7M 44 3 13 3 years M-NTC
27. Blake Comeau, COL RW 31 $2.4M 47 9 21 UFA  
28. Robin Lehner, BUF G 26 $4M 36 2.96 .910 RFA  
29. Cody Franson, CHI RD 30 $1M 23 1 7 UFA  
30. Tyson Barrie, COL RD 26 $5.5M 34 4 27 2 years