The Rangers announced Tuesday afternoon that they acquired forward Julien Gauthier from the Carolina Hurricanes for defenseman Joey Keane.
The move allowed the Rangers to partially alleviate some of its log jam of promising blueliners — both with the team and in its pipeline.
Opportunities for NHL playing time were slim for Keane, who would have to compete with the likes of fellow young defensemen like Adam Fox, K’Andre Miller, Nils Lundkvist, Yegor Rykov, and Libor Hajek.
Keane recorded eight goals and 22 assists in 49 games with the Rangers’ AHL affiliate, the Hartford Wolf Pack, this season.
Flipping Keane for Gauthier provides the Rangers with young forward depth, which has been lacking within the organization.
The 22-year-old has 26 goals and 11 assists in 44 games with the Charlotte Checkers of the AHL this season.
He also appeared in five NHL games with the Hurricanes this season, his first in the pros.
Gauthier has the intangibles to develop into a promising, well-rounded scorer in the pros.
At 6-foot-4, 227 pounds, he’s a strong, powerful skater who isn’t afraid to throw his weight around.
Couple that with a soft set of hands that saw him adopt the label of a sniper during his junior days and Gauthier suddenly becomes an appealing building block in New York.