It appears Alexander Georgiev will finally get his wish.
The New York Rangers have traded their backup goaltender to the Colorado Avalanche for three draft picks, both teams announced today.
The Avalanche will send a third and fifth round picks in the 2022 draft, as well as a 2023 third round selection.
Georgiev is a restricted free agent this off-season and had requested a trade at the beginning of July. It has been an up and down run in New York for the first Bulgarian-born player in NHL history. Georgiev started 28 games for the Blueshirts and went 15-10-2 in those starts with a .898% save percentage.
The Rangers had until Monday to trade Georgiev before his $2.65 million qualifying offer was official.
Georgiev has played behind Vezina trophy winner, Igor Shesterkin now for the better part of the last two years. With Shesterkin locked in as the clear-cut starting goaltender, Georgiev has been looking for ways to have a starting chance elsewhere.
What a Georgiev trade means for the Rangers draft and Free Agency
New York had just four draft selections in the entire 2022 draft before the day started. Now with six, the Rangers have a much more flexible opportunity to improve the roster. While six draft picks are certainly helpful, some of those picks could be used as part of a trade chip for defenseman Patrik Nemeth, whose $2.5 million contract has been difficult to move.
The Rangers were one of just three teams to carry a backup goaltender whose contract exceeded $2.425 million. Shedding over $2 million in space will open the possibility of offering extensions to current free agents like Andrew Copp, Frank Vatrano and Tyler Motte. According to CapFriendly, the team is expected to have over $10 million in cap space.
The defending Stanley Cup Champion Avalanche were looking for goaltender help with the expiring contract of Darcy Kuemper. Kuemper will now reportedly test free agency following Colorado’s trade for Georgiev. The 32 year old is expected to have a strong pay-day on the open market for many goaltender-needy teams.
With the first round of the NHL Draft starting tonight, it will also be an opportunity for Rangers general manager Chris Drury to work the phones and potentially find other ways to improve the roster.
Getting three draft picks for a backup goaltender is certainly one of the ways to do so.
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