Rangers get deeper with acquisitions of Copp, Motte at the buzzer

·2 min read
The Rangers have prioritized depth since Chris Drury took over as GM, and doubled down on that approach in the final moments before the deadline. (Getty)
The Rangers have prioritized depth since Chris Drury took over as GM, and doubled down on that approach in the final moments before the deadline. (Getty)

Two of the hidden gems of the trade deadline are heading to the New York Rangers.

Insiders are reporting that both Andrew Copp and Tyler Motte — who played together at the University of Michigan in the early 2010s — will land with the New York Rangers in separate deals brokered with the Winnipeg Jets and Vancouver Canucks, respectively.

The price on Copp has not been determined, but it's widely reported that a fourth-round draft pick was all it took to secure the services of Motte.

In some ways, Copp has played his way out of Winnipeg over the last few seasons. The former fourth-round selection has turned himself into a reliable secondary scorer over the past few seasons, continuing to build his value while now on the precipice of unrestricted free agency. Evidently too expensive for Winnipeg to consider on a long-term deal, GM Kevin Cheveldayoff made the decision to cash in on his progress rather than hold on for an unlikely drive toward the final postseason spot in the Western Conference.

Winnipeg made a separate half-measures deal to fill his slot, acquiring Zach Sanford from the Ottawa Senators.

Copp is on pace for his career-best season in terms of production. He's two shy of his personal-best goal total from last season (though he has already appeared in more games), and is on pace to threaten 50 points for the first time. He's also consistently driven positive results from an underlying perspective relative to his teammates.

Motte, meanwhile, has less of an offensive upside, but fills a very specific role. He's a high-energy penalty-killing specialist who brings pace and physicality. He's the sort of player who is more valuable in the playoffs, though he's only appeared in 17 postseason games in his career.

As far as mandates go, Copp and Motte fill it for New York and GM Chris Drury. The Rangers have been working hard to provide insulation for the talented scorers since the switch to Drury, acquiring players like Barclay Goodrow, Sammy Blais, Ryan Reaves, and Frank Vatrano. Copp and Motte can each fill similar or adjacent functions, providing useful contributions in the absence of high-end scoring.

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