Chris Drury reflective on Georgiev trade: Rangers looking ahead to day 2 of NHL Draft, Free Agency

Rangers line projection
New York Rangers’ Frank Vatrano (77) is congratulated for his goal against the Tampa Bay Lightning during the second period of Game 1 of the NHL hockey Stanley Cup playoffs Eastern Conference finals.
AP Photo/Frank Franklin II

When Chris Drury spoke to the media for the first time since his end-of-the-year press conference, there were a number of questions Ranger fans were looking for answers to. 

The Alexander Georgiev trade, the return that allows for more draft flexibility, and even the impending free agents were all on the minds of reporters who spoke to the general manager. 

It was clear that the Rangers front office is already looking ahead.

Drury on Georgiev Trade

Without a first round pick this year, the Rangers still found a way to help the roster. Following the trade that sent backup goaltender Alexander Georgiev to Colorado for three mid-round draft picks, Drury was excited to see a conclusion to what was a tumultuous few months with the netminder. 

“It was something we had been looking at, and working on. (We were) trying to clear some cap space. (We) talked to a bunch of teams and that was kind of the deal that came today.” Drury said. 

Georgiev had requested a trade from the Rangers multiple times over the course of the last season. The 26 year old from Bulgaria went 15-10-2 as starter this season for the Blueshirts. 

With two thirds and a fifth heading to New York, Drury understood the importance of recouping some of the draft capital that was lost during a busy trade deadline during the season. 

“It was nice to get the picks back for sure.” Drury responded. The general manager would also add that Georgiev “is a fierce competitor and a real good goalie. He’s going to do real good things in Colorado.”

Drury on the Draft and Free Agency

With the second day of the draft just hours away, the Rangers have six selections to look to improve the roster. 

That doesn’t mean that all six picks will be made though. 

“We’re just always looking for ways to be better and that will continue tonight.” Drury said. 

New York has the 63rd overall pick in the 2022 NHL Draft. With the Georgiev trade, the Rangers have selections in every round but the seventh today. 

Of course the NHL Draft isn’t the only looming target the Rangers have to keep an eye on. 

With players like Ryan Strome, Andrew Copp and Frank Vatrano expected to hit the open market in under a week, the Rangers will need to decide which targets they want to keep in New York, and which ones to let walk. 

Drury didn’t comment on the contract negotiations between Strome and Copp but did add that Strome did not get surgery for a pelvic injury he had suffered through the playoff run

Top Prospects in the System

Brennan Othmann is one of the top players in the Rangers farm system. In 66 games in the OHL last season, Othmann dominated as a scorer totaling 50 goals and 97 points. 

The 16th overall selection in the 2021 draft has looked the part of a dominant goal scorer and is looking to make the top club this season. 

For Drury, Othmann’s future in 2022 will hinge on his performance in camp. 

“I’m glad that’s what his goal is and he obviously had a heck of a year last year and it was really good to see him today.” Drury said. “We’re looking forward to seeing him in development camp next week.”

Drury went on to praise the 19 year old for his scoring ability. Othmann will look to try and make the Rangers roster this season and help add to a team that made the conference finals just a year ago. 

A lot of that will also hinge on the free agent market and cap space New York has to improve the roster ahead of time. 

Chris Drury’s trade for Georgiev and current free agent plans seem to show the Rangers are looking for as much flexibility to improve the roster. 

The second day of the draft will be telling what the Rangers new goals will be as they gear towards free agency. 

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