If there’s one thing we know, it’s that the Rangers need a proper scoring winger to join Mika Zibanejad and Chris Kreider–assuming this duo remains together–in a scoring role. For now, we should assume Zibanejad will continue to be the 1C/2C, however you want to list it with Vincent Trocheck. To get the most out of Zibanejad and Kreider, and with good free agents being costly, we look at potential Rangers trade targets.

There is no confirmation that Nikolaj Ehlers is available or that Winnipeg has any interest in entertaining offers for their top winger. In fact, we know Kevin Cheveldayoff is relatively risk averse and doesn’t like to make the big trades. Pierre-Luc Dubois was the exception to the rule.

In the PLD trade, the Jets addressed some pretty significant depth issues, landing forwards Alex Iafallo, Rasmus Kupari, and Gabriel Villardi. If anything, the Jets lack true star power to get them past teams like Dallas, Edmonton, and Colorado. Trading a 25-goal, 60-point player doesn’t help them move in this direction either.

For the Rangers, Ehlers would be exactly what the Kreider-Zibanejad duo needs. He’s a play driver at 5v5 who is fine enough defensively not to drag them both down. He’s also a pass-first player who is strong with zone entries, something this duo desperately needs. On paper, he’s what the Rangers need. But the Jets also need him.

There’s chatter that Ehlers may be available as the Jets look to bolster their blue line, the only reason why this is being mentioned. While not necessarily an area of strength for the Rangers, they do have a potential fit with Ryan Lindgren. Until Lindgren is signed, his name will continue to pop up in most potential Rangers trade target discussion. K’Andre Miller’s name is going to be brought up, but mostly by fans who have a lack of appreciation for Miller’s sky high potential and play when separated from Jacob Trouba (and no, Winnipeg isn’t taking Trouba back).

Would we potentially see a true hockey trade in Lindgren for Ehlers, one for one? Quite possibly. I’m admittedly pretty bad at judging trade value, but a top-four defenseman for a top-six singer sounds about right. There may be a sweetener needed on one end, probably from the Rangers, but it would most certainly address both team’s needs.

Is this something either team considers? Probably not. Winnipeg may not want a potential injury prone defenseman, and the Rangers may not want to deal years of a cost controlled top four defenseman for only one year of Ehlers. But of the potential Rangers trade targets, Ehlers checks most of the boxes they need as a playmaking winger who drives possession.

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