It seems as if the New York Rangers have found a trade partner for Derek Stepan and goaltender Antti Raanta. They’ve both been traded to the Arizona Coyotes in exchange for the seventh overall pick and former first round selection Anthony DeAngelo. Stepan has been on the trading block for awhile, and many other teams were interested in his services before Coyotes general manager John Chayka acquired him today.
— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) June 23, 2017
Derek Stepan and Antti Raanta Traded to Arizona Coyotes
A New Challenge for Stepan
Stepan has four years left on his current contract and will make $6.5 million for each of those years until he’s a free agent in 2022, so this is a steep contract. He’s been the Rangers number one center for many years, and this past season he only had 17 goals but still finished with 55 points. His 55 points tie him for the second most he’s had in his career, as he had 57 points in the 2013-2014 season for New York.
He also had 22 goals in the 2015-2016 season which was a career high for him. He was only a 50.7% possession player this past season, though. His playoff numbers have been good throughout his time in New York, as he had 15 points when the Rangers made the Stanley Cup Final in 2013-201. He added six points this past year in the playoffs before being eliminated by the Senators.
The Rangers are in the midst of a retooling, as they exited early again in the playoffs this year and wanted to shake up the core a bit. Henrik Lundqvist isn’t getting younger. He’s 35 and will be 36 during next season, so it’s a bit important for them to open up some cap space so that they can make the team better.
Raanta Looks to Be Number One Goaltender
Although 28, Raanta has only been in the National Hockey League for four seasons, and many pundits picked him to go to Las Vegas in the expansion draft. He’s a young, agile goaltender who can perform under stress and can take on heavy workloads. Raanta went undrafted into the NHL, spending his early years playing in the SM-Liiga, Finland’s top league.
On reported Coyotes-Rangers trade, Raanta becomes No. 1 goalie and Stepan becomes No. 1 center in Arizona. For now. Dust not settled.
— Dan Rosen (@drosennhl) June 23, 2017
While in Europe, Raanta made a name for himself and before long was on his was to America to play for the Chicago Blackhawks, who signed him in 2013. Raanta would spend both the 2013-14 and 2014-15 seasons with Chicago. In 2013-14, Raanta played in 25 games, starting 22 of them. He would post a 13-5-4 record with goals against average of 2.71 and a save percentage of .897, with one shutout. The next year, he and Scott Darling battled for the backup role behind Corey Crawford. Raanta would only play 14 games, starting in 12. He went 7-4-1 with a 1.89 goals against, a save percentage of .936 and two shutouts.
After the Blackhawks’ Stanley Cup win in 2015, Raanta was traded to the New York Rangers, who were in need of a new backup after trading Cam Talbot to the Edmonton Oilers. In New York, Raanta would establish himself as a solid number two to Henrik Lundqvist. In his first year with the Rangers, Raanta, played 25 games, starting in 18 with a goals against of 2.24, a save percentage of .919 and one shutout. He finished with a record of 11-6-2.
The next year, he took on a heavier workload, starting 26 times (playing in 30 games total), and posted a 16-8-2 record. He had a GAA of 2.26 and a save percentage of .922%. He also had an impressive four shutouts.
Raanta has only three career playoff games under his belt, all of which came in the 2015-16 postseason and were in relief.
Raanta is a solid goaltender and has seen plenty of shots to count him as a reliable netminder. He will be an excellent addition to the crease in Arizona.
Another New Start for DeAngelo
DeAngelo since being drafted in 2014 has been traded twice on draft day. Last season, he was traded for a second round pick that became Libor Hajek. Overall this season, he scored five goals and 14 points in just 39 games as a rookie. In his first professional season back in 2015-16 with the Syracuse Crunch, he scored six goals and added 43 points in 69 games. The Rangers needed some puck-movers on the back end, and he certainly fits the bill as a pure offensive defenseman. The seventh overall pick could net them another as well.