The Rangers have traded Brett Howden to Vegas for a 4th round pick in 2022 and pending UFA defenseman Nick DeSimone.
DeSimone, 26, has no NHL experience and is slated to be a Group Six Free Agent.
Howden had just signed a one-year contract with the Rangers and was expected to either be protected in the expansion draft or be Seattle’s selection.
Adam Rotter: I think that the Rangers may have viewed Howden as the player Seattle was likely to take and rather than lose a 23-year old former first-round pick for nothing, they get a 4th round pick next year. It’s not a lot, but it’s better than losing him for nothing.
As one of the pieces of the Ryan McDonagh trade Howden always had a bigger spotlight on him than his skill set may deserved. He was a late first-round pick, played at the World Juniors for Canada and was an offensive player in the WHL. He joined the Rangers at a time when the future down the middle seemed like it was going to be built around Howden, Lias Andersson and Filip Chytil. Now Chytil is the only one left and there is no guarantee that he is with the Rangers next season. Howden had been a steady player under David Quinn because of his hockey IQ and two-way game, but he never really rose past a bottom-six/PK role and, as it seems like its always the case, at the moments he started flashing more and maybe a higher ceiling, he got hurt. So now Howden is with Vegas and the remaining elements from the McDonagh/JT Miller trade are Libor Hajek, who himself could be on the way out, newly signed Nils Lundkvist, 2019 second-round pick Karl Henriksson, the fourth-round pick they have from Ottawa this year and now a fourth-rounder next year from Vegas.