The New York Rangers’ Expansion Draft protection list contained a surprise inclusion, but it wasn’t Ryan Strome. (Kevin Rooney?) Strome has bounced around during his NHL career, but has found a good fit in New York with back-to-back career years in terms of per-game scoring. Yet, Strome may be protected from selection by the Seattle Kraken, but that doesn’t guarantee that he will be on the Rangers roster next season. Bally Sports’ Andy Strickland reports that Strome is drawing considerable interest on the trade market.
Rosters are currently frozen through Wednesday’s Expansion Draft, but that was preceded by a mini-trade deadline on Saturday that resulted in a flurry of activity and surely far more conversations than what actually came to fruition. Strome’s name apparently came up in these talks and when transactions are unlocked later this week, he may be on the move. Of course, this depends one whether the interest that Strickland reports is being encouraged. If the Rangers are listening to offers or even shopping Strome, then a deal could happen soon. The Rangers are known to be in the market for an improvement down the middle and could be looking to open up cap space and a top-six center spot in one fell swoop by moving Strome. However, if this interest in Strome is developing without any involvement from New York, it could mean nothing. If the Rangers are unsuccessful in trading for an established center, they will have a hard time upgrading Strome on the free agent market this season and could be hesitant to move him.
One team who is eyeing Strome, should he be available, are the Ottawa Senators. Strickland notes that Ottawa in particular is interested in adding the center. This could be a savvy move for the Senators, who are looking to take a step forward in their rebuild this season, but would not have to sacrifice too much for Strome, whose contract expires after next season. Ottawa may also need to replace center Chris Tierney, who was left exposed in the Expansion Draft. If Strome excels playing on the young Ottawa roster, the team has more than enough cap space to extend him. If he struggles or the team falters again this season regardless, the Senators could flip him at the trade deadline to recoup their assets.