Rangers Flashback: Looking At The Zibanejad/Brassard Trade

Zibanejad (Getty)

Coming up on two years since the New York Rangers and Ottawa Senators made unique trade regarding two of their best forwards, it’s worth taking a look back on where these players stand now and how that trade has affected each team.

Going back to July 2016, a 22-year-old Mika Zibanejad had just come off a 51-point season is 81 games played. Those are some numbers that you’d hope to see from such a young forward going forward. However, as we saw unfold, the Senators had different plans with Zibanejad as they traded him to the Rangers for a then 28-year-old Brassard. Brassard and Zibanejad put up very similar stats in their last season with their respected club, as Brassard put up 50 points in 80 games. The trade at the time was surprising, as Brassard, who had a larger price tag at the time, was swapped for a younger, similar player that many thought has more potential.

So why are we looking back at this trade two years in the making? Reflecting on trades can either be a great, or dreadful thing. As for this particular trade, I like to think it shaped up nicely for the Rangers. Since coming to New York, Zibanejad has put up 84 points in 128 games through two seasons. Aside from that, Zibanejad inked a new 5 year, $26.75 million dollar contract with the Blueshirts this time last season. With Zibanejad came a second round pick from Ottawa, which would have been fantastic to have at the stages the Rangers are now, but the club traded that pick away to Detroit in a package for Brendan Smith.

Even with trading away Ottawa’s second rounder, the Rangers regained another 2nd round pick from the Devils at the trade deadline when the Blueshirts shipped Michael Grabner to New Jersey. So, instead of having six picks in the first two rounds, the Rangers have five, which is still fantastic since three of those come in the first round.

Aside from losing Ottawa’s pick, this trade has panned out perfectly for the Rangers. Derrick ¬†Brassard put up 77 points in 139 games through a season and a half with the Senators, before being traded to Pittsburgh during the 2017-2018 season. The numbers Brassard put up for Ottawa seemed to be on par for his career, but his time in Ottawa wasn’t as long as the Senators had hoped when they traded a young center in Zibanejad for him back in 2016.

Give us your thoughts in the comments below.

One comment

  • Still not sold on this trade.
    If it was solely for a half season of cap space I would think that would be seen as successful.
    But the trade broke up offensive chemistry. Player for player one can argue that it may seem like a wash, with slight upside to the NYR. But the overall dip in offense was noticeable and the net effect may be perceived by some as negative.
    There’s still time to observe and evaluate the trade but just IMO, as of right now, I would have liked to have Brassard.
    Brassard is way more clutch than Mika also.
    Mika misses the net on cross ice feeds every game. Even if the shots don’t go in, rebounds and 2nd chances are higher percentage.
    He isn’t getting better in that respect. Something he and coaches should look at.

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