After finding out that they weren’t going to be able to sign top prospect Adam Fox, the Carolina Hurricanes have traded his rights to the New York Rangers. In return, the Hurricanes will receive the Rangers’ 2019 second-round pick and a conditional 2020 third. That third-round selection will bump up a round if Fox plays 30 games next season.
The Rangers were always the expected destination for a trade, given the belief that he would leave college early and sign with them. Fox has completed three seasons at Harvard and could become an unrestricted free agent next summer, but instead is expected to start his professional career in 2019-20.
This was the exact scenario that the Calgary Flames did not want to take part in when they decided to include Fox in last summer’s blockbuster trade with the Hurricanes. It was clear to them that he had no intention on signing in Calgary, but the Hurricanes did believe that they could get him under contract. For whatever reason, that wasn’t to be and the Rangers seemed like the eventual destination. The Hurricanes front office made it clear that they would seek out a trade this summer, and they did well to secure at least some sort of return for the college star.
Fox, originally selected in the third round back in 2016, developed into one of the best defensemen in college hockey and put up 116 points in 97 regular season games for Harvard over his three years. A natural powerplay quarterback, he routinely carried the puck up the ice and gained the zone himself before setting up teammates for high danger chances. While not a physical presence, his defensive ability also improved to the point where many expect him to step right into the NHL next season. Right-handed offensive options are difficult to find, and the Rangers have now secured one with a ton of potential.
For the Hurricanes, this trade will certainly bring back some interesting franchise memories. In September 2006, the Hurricanes traded third-overall pick Jack Johnson to the Los Angeles Kings after he turned down their offers to sign out of college. That was just a few months after Carolina had secured their first Stanley Cup, something the current team is trying to replicate this spring. If they are somehow able to, it would be an odd quirk of history to have failed to sign another top college defenseman in the same year.