NHL Trade Deadline: Ryane Clowe to New York Rangers Is Low Risk/High Reward Move

Tom Urtz Jr.@@TomUrtzJrContributor IApril 2, 2013

GLENDALE, AZ - OCTOBER 01:  Ryane Clowe #29 of the San Jose Sharks during the preseason NHL game against the Phoenix Coyotes at Jobing.com Arena on October 1, 2011 in Glendale, Arizona.   The Coyotes defeated the Sharks 3-1.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Ryane Clowe is the newest member of the New York Rangers, and it is a move that is a low risk with a potential for a high reward.

It has been stated ad naseum that Clowe is goalless in 2013, but the rugged power forward was not brought in to be a offensive spark plug.

The cost of Clowe coming to the Rangers was two second-round draft picks and a conditional third-round pick that could become a fifth-round pick according to NHL.com.

While it looks a bit steep, realize the Rangers are currently in a window where they aren't building their roster through the draft.


Prospects Corner

The Rangers have two top prospects in Chris Kreider and J.T. Miller who should be regulars in 2013-14, but odds are they will see some more time with the Connecticut Whale as they continue to develop.

They also have European forwards Jesper Fast and Oscar Lindberg, who could be contending for a roster spot next season.

Digging even further into the prospect pool, the Rangers have Christian Thomas and Dylan McIlrath with the Connecticut Whale and college prospect "Boo" Nieves, who had an impressive freshman year at the University of Michigan.

It isn't the greatest prospect pool in the league, but it isn't like the Rangers' pantry is completely empty, and they can afford to take a risk if it helps them advance far in the playoffs.

What Will The Immediate Impact Be?

The addition of Clowe will help solidify the Rangers' top-nine, and it will also add some strength to the roster.

Clowe has shown in the past that he can contribute offense, and he is a prototypical John Tortorella player who adds physicality and grit.

The San Jose import is hard on the puck, likes to grind it out along the boards, can help change the tempo and be a pest when needed.

The Rangers are sorely missing the grit and energy that players like Brandon Prust and Brandon Dubinsky injected into the lineup, and Clowe will add that to the current lineup.

This addition of energy and swagger could prove to be contagious, as seen with the San Jose Sharks.

The addition of Clowe should also help the Rangers' scorers get going. It sounds silly, but having Clowe in the lineup will make the Rangers' finesse players more confident. 

It certainly worked with Logan Couture in San Jose, as he was a linemate of Clowe who benefited from the extra space created by Clowe on the ice.

Clowe is also one of the league's more rugged forwards who loves standing up for teammates and dropping the gloves when necessary.

Opponents will definitely think twice about running Rick Nash, Brad Richards or Marian Gaborik knowing that they could have to answer to Clowe on their next shift. Don't underestimate the confidence these players will gain knowing that someone like Clowe has their back.


Change of Scenery Can Help Get Clowe Going

It is easy to knock this deal and joke that a team that has trouble scoring goals added a player that is goalless, but what is more likely?

Is it more likely that Clowe will remain goalless, or will he return to the 45 to 50-point player he has been for the better part of his career?

Only time will tell, but this move is a win for the Rangers not only because it makes them tougher to play against, but also because they have added a player who has a history of success and is just having a down year.

The fact that he waived his NTC to come to New York should also indicate that he wants to be apart of what the Rangers are doing, and he is invested in the future even though he is considered a rental player.


The full impact of this move may not be known for a while, but according to Andrew Gross, the Rangers are in a position to be making more moves before Wednesday's deadline.


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