The Carolina Hurricanes have traded Julien Gauthier to the New York Rangers in exchange for defenceman Joey Keane. Gauthier was the Hurricanes’ first-round pick in the 2016 Draft while Keane was a third-round pick in 2018. The Rangers broke the news on the trade later Tuesday morning.
OFFICIAL: Rangers acquire forward Julien Gauthier from Carolina in exchange for defenseman Joey Keane.
— New York Rangers (@NYRangers) February 18, 2020
Carolina Hurricanes Trade Julien Gauthier
Neither player has extensive NHL experience at this point. Gauthier has just five games under his belt with one assist. However, the 6′-4″ wing has had a good season with his former AHL team in Charlotte. Gauthier scored 26 goals and 37 points in 44 games. That ranked third on the team. He has great size at age 22 and was one of Carolina’s best prospects but not valued to the point he was untouchable.
Keane has no NHL games on his resume but was a fine player for New York’s affiliate in Hartford. He ranked fourth on the team with eight goals and 30 points in 49 games. Keane was not one of the Rangers’ most noteworthy prospects but the farm system is deep enough on the blue line that he was a solid piece to ship out. He was listed at 6′-0″, 185 pounds before the season started and has a reputation as someone who can play tough minutes.
What This Means for the Future
Carolina likely views Keane as an option if not next year, then certainly within the next two seasons. They will potentially lose Joel Edmundson or Trevor van Riemsdyk to free agency this summer. Adding Keane gives them another option for their second or third pairing after this season.
New York acquires a player who might be a top-nine option as soon as 2020-21. The Rangers have a handful of forwards who will be free agents after this season. They also have one of the league’s best farm systems, so acquiring Gauthier means he might have to battle for a roster spot. It is easy to envision his short-term potential as a fourth-line option next season with more potential beyond that.