With the Rangers' rebuild ahead of schedule, they were reportedly among the teams recently interested in a potential trade for the Buffalo Sabres' star center Jack Eichel, reports Bob McKenzie of TSN.
According to McKenzie, there was "unverified chatter" that Eichel recently requested a trade from Buffalo, though further investigating by McKenzie revealed that Eichel doesn't want out of Buffalo right now -- something McKenzie said he took at "face value."
The 23-year-old Eichel had 36 goals and 42 assists in 68 games this season, and has amassed 337 points in 354 career NHL games.
Eichel is under contract through the 2025-26 season, and is set to enter the third season of an eight-year deal worth $80 million.
With New York's signing last offseason of Artemi Panarin and draft luck leading to them drafting Kappo Kakko No. 2 overall in the 2019 NHL Draft and very likely Alexis Lafreniere at No. 1 overall in 2020, dealing for a potential finishing piece such as Eichel would make plenty of sense.
The Blueshirts also have one of the best crops of prospects in the NHL, meaning they should have no trouble putting together a package for a star they covet should one become available.