The New York Rangers are already in off-season mode following a disappointing 77-point season that saw them finish last in the Metropolitan Division and trade away several big-name veterans. GM Jeff Gorton and company clearly have at least a restructuring of the team in mind, if not a complete rebuild. With such a process often comes some unique ways of replenishing the talent that is traded away for picks and prospects. While one player already linked to the Rangers this off-season has been KHL star and former NHL standout Ilya Kovalchuk, many have questioned if adding a 35-year-old who thrives when playing with high-end talent was really the right move for a rebuilding team. A new European rumor makes much more sense. According to a Swedish news source, the Kvalls Posten, young Swedish star Michael Lindqvist is nearing a deal to join New York.
Lindqvist, 23, is a sharp-shooting right winger who is coming off a breakout season with Farjestad of the Swedish Hockey League. Although injuries limited Lindqvist to just 33 games in 2017-18, the young Swede still finished third on his team in scoring and had the best per-game production on the roster. In fact, Lindqvist’s 34 points in 33 games was the fourth-best points-per-game rate in the entire league among players who skated in at least half of their team’s games. Lindqvist also added three points in two playoff games for Farjestad, which was a quarterfinalist in the SHL this season.
In speaking about Lindqvist’s contract situation, agent Joakim Persson told the Kvalls Posten that there were a number of teams interested in Lindqvist, but that the list has been narrowed down. Persson adds the Washington Capitals to the list of finalists for Lindqvist’s services, but states that the Rangers are the heavy favorite. Persson says that a decision is approaching and that a deal will be official soon. While there will surely be an adjustment period for Lindqvist, the talented forward is a worthwhile gamble for the Rangers, who will look to reconstruct their roster with as much youth and potential as possible during the upcoming summer and beyond.