9:16PM: Larry Brooks tweets that the Rangers are interested in Fox and expects the Rangers to look at trading for him around the draft.
7:15PM: Carolina’s owner says that they are likely to trade Fox. (News and Observer)
4:33M: PIerre LeBrun tweets that the Hurricanes have been informed that Harvard defenseman Adam Fox is unlikely to sign with them and that a trade is the preferred situation.
LeBrun adds that he is guessing that “the Rangers would top the d-man’s list.” (LeBrun)
Reports last week indicated that Fox would return to Harvard and follow the path of Kevin Hayes and Jimmy Vesey by becoming a free agent in August 2020.
Fox, 21, is from Long Island and LeBrun wrote last week that the Rangers are “believed to be” among the teams interested in him. (The Athletic)
Larry Brooks reported around last year’s draft that the Rangers inquired about Fox before Calgary traded his rights to Carolina. (NY Post)
Brooks notes that Calgary’s price for Fox was “too high.” (NY Post)
LeBrun wonders about compensation for Fox and what the Rangers would be willing to offer to secure Fox.
Fox had previously paired with Rangers prospect Ryan Lindgren at the World Juniors.
A few months ago Fox brought up the long rumored belief that he was going to sign with the Rangers because of where he grew up but said “my dream, my goal, is to play in the NHL. As soon as possible.” (The Athletic)
Fox was recently ranked as Carolina’s second best prospect and 30th prospect overall by The Hockey News Future Watch issue.
They wrote “Fox was the key piece to the blockbuster that saw the Hurricanes acquire Dougie Hamilton and Micheal Ferland. They wouldn’t have done it without getting Fox, because they see him as an elite right-shot PP ace who is already skating, thinking and playing at an NHL level. There have been questions about whether Fox will sign or play one more year at Harvard and then become a UFA, but the Hurricanes are confident they can get his name on a contract.”
If Fox were to play in one NHL game before the end of the season he would need to be protected in the Seattle expansion draft of 2021. (The Athletic)
Fox can only burn the first-year of his entry-level contract by signing with Carolina, even if he doesn’t play a game. (McKenzie)
Adam Rotter: This is an interesting situation because Fox is an important asset to Carolina but no one is going to give up a ton for a player that could easily return to Harvard for his senior year and then sign with that team as a UFA. While the feeling in some NHL circles, for a while, has been that Fox would ultimately end up with the Rangers in some way shape or form I’m not sure what they are willing to give up to get him now vs signing him next year. The Rangers are certainly not going to give up any of the five picks they have in the first two rounds this year nor do I think they’d be willing to move their third or Columbus’ fourth.
I think one situation that could work would be for the Rangers to send Carolina something like a conditional sixth round pick next year that turns into a fourth rounder if Fox achieves some milestone in the NHL next season. By all accounts the Rangers are very high on Fox as a prospect but it’s not yet known if they view him as NHL ready next season. That matters because if they think he needs another year at Harvard then why not give up nothing to get him as a UFA? I don’t think it’s an empty netter that he ends up with the Rangers, this summer or next, but they are considered to be his most likely landing spot.
Fox, of course, would very much be following in the path of another Harvard alum and Ranger Jimmy Vesey by spurning at least two different teams to then sign with the Rangers.