Sunday: As expected, the New York Rangers have suspended Andersson for leaving the Hartford Wolf Pack following his trade request, according to New York Post’s Larry Brooks.
Saturday: Rangers prospect Lias Andersson has had a limited role with the team this season and it appears he has had enough. TSN’s Darren Dreger reports (Twitter link) that the youngster has asked for a trade and is no longer with the team.
Andersson, the seventh overall pick in 2017, has split this season between New York and their AHL affiliate in Hartford. With the Rangers, he has spent time at both center and the wing but has almost played exclusively on the fourth line. Overall, he has just a single assist in 17 games with the big club while logging just 9:33 per night. He hasn’t been overly productive with the Wolf Pack either since joining them in mid-November, notching just four goals and one helper in 13 contests. That hasn’t helped his chances for a recall which likely helped fuel this request.
The 21-year-old hasn’t had much stability since being drafted. He split his post-draft season between the SHL and the AHL (with a seven-game stint with the Rangers) and then had 36 AHL games with 42 NHL contests a year ago with this season following a similar pattern. That type of frequent change can certainly slow down development for many players and that has likely been the case here.
Considering he was the centerpiece of a deal that saw New York also land defenseman Anthony DeAngelo (with Derek Stepan and Antti Raanta going the other way) back at the 2017 draft, this isn’t a situation where the Rangers are going to be willing to just take whatever they can get for him even with Andersson leaving Hartford. Despite his struggles, there is still some upside which should result in considerable trade interest. While the roster freeze is in effect for another week, that should give GM Jeff Gorton an opportunity to call around the league to get a sense of what type of market there’s going to be and how quickly a trade can be done. Even if they do find a deal to their liking though, Andersson’s tenure with New York can only be classified as disappointing.