Rangers make big NHL trade deadline push, acquire Andrew Copp, Tyler Motte in separate trades

Andrew Copp Rangers
Andrew Copp
Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Rangers got two more deals done just before the gun of the NHL’s 3 p.m. ET trade deadline on Monday, acquiring centers Andrew Copp from the Winnipeg Jets and Tyler Motte from the Vancouver Canucks, per multiple reports.

While the Rangers also get a sixth-round pick from Winnipeg, they parted with Morgan Barron, two conditional second-round picks, and a fifth-round pick in 2023. The Canucks will be getting a 2023 fourth-round pick from New York for Motte

The 27-year-old Copp is experiencing one of his most productive seasons as a pro, recording 13 goals and 22 assists for 35 points in 56 games. His career-high of 15 goals was scored last year in 55 games for Winnipeg — a figure that looks destined to be broken this season.

Motte provides a hard-nosed fourth-line option with seven goals, eight assists, and 90 hits in 49 games.

Tyler Motte Rangers
Tyler MotteBob Frid-USA TODAY Sports

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New York has already been busy around the trade deadline, picking up Frank Vatrano from the Florida Panthers last week to provide some forward depth before bringing on veteran defenseman Justin Braun from the Philadelphia Flyers to bolster their blueline.

While the Blueshirts have been flush with high-end talent in their top six with the likes of Artemi Panarin, Chris Kreider, and Mika Zibanejad, their bottom-six forwards have been a black hole in terms of consistent production.

Not only does the presence of Vatrano allow the Rangers to flex the likes of Dryden Hunt to the third line, Copp is an immediate third-line center option while Motte adds tenacity to New York’s fourth unit alongside Greg McKegg and Ryan Reaves.

Suddenly the Rangers are set down the middle with a dependable group of centers with Zibanejad and Ryan Strome on the first and second lines. It takes pressure — and potentially playing time — off of a youngster like Filip Chytil, allowing him to develop more to his natural game rather than having to undertake a different philosophy that New York has desperately been lacking in recent years.