With Andrew Copp and Ryan Strome set to hit free agency, the New York Rangers are left with a glaring hole at 2nd-line center. There are plenty of options, but the question looms… who should the Rangers pair with Artemi Panarin? The decision should be obvious, it’s Andrew Copp. Chris Drury’s top priority this offseason should be keeping Copp a Blueshirt.
A Smashing Success Of A Trade
The New York Rangers sent F Morgan Barron, along with a 2022 1st-round pick, and a 2023 2nd-round pick to the Winnipeg Jets, in exchange for Andrew Copp, and a 2023 6th-round pick.
Upon his arrival on Broadway, Andrew Copp fit in seamlessly. The 27-year-old Michigan native racked up 18 points (8-10–18) in 16 regular season games, to go along with 14 points (6-8–14) in 20 playoff games. His efforts made for an excellent total of 32 points in 36 games with the Rangers, an 82-game pace of 72 points. Along with outstanding offensive output, he displayed elite penalty killing ability and was sound defensively.
New Deal Numbers
What could a new deal for the soon-to-be 28-year-old center look like? As far as term goes, I’d expect anywhere from four to six years. The average annually would likely start at $5 million, and would probably land in the $5.25 to $5.5 million range. That cap hit is certainly manageable, considering all the ways Copp has shown he can contribute to this Rangers team.
Chris Drury coughed up a pretty hefty package to land Andrew Copp in a competitive market on deadline day. That package should give the Rangers’ general manager extra motivation to keep Copp on Broadway. Given that the former Jet played so well in his 36-game stint with the Blueshirts, it seems like a no brainer to keep him in a Rangers sweater long term.