NHL Trade Deadline Winners and Losers - (The Toronto Maple Leafs Are Losers)

Breaking down the three biggest winners of this year's NHL Trade Deadline and the three biggest losers.
Vladimir Tarasenko To Florida Panthers Headlines NHL Trade Deadline
Vladimir Tarasenko To Florida Panthers Headlines NHL Trade Deadline / Joel Auerbach/GettyImages
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New York Rangers (Winner)

The New York Rangers entered the trade deadline as one of the NHL's hottest teams winning 11 of their last 14 games, it felt like the hockey world was starting to come around on them as true Stanley Cup contenders and they are 100 percent in that conversation after adding three key pieces before the deadline.

Jack Roslovic

Jack Roslovic is an elite playmaker and passer, he ranks in the top 10 percent of forwards in the NHL in primary assists this season. He ranked second on the Columbus Blue Jackets in total assists at five-on-five and third in primary assists per 60 minutes on the Blue Jackets. He is another guy who is a defensive liability, but that should be hidden playing beside Mika Zibanejad one of the best two-way forwards in the NHL and having Adam Fox a Norris Trophy candidate playing behind him.

I would not put this move on the same level as Tarasenko to the Panthers, but Roslovic's passing will also be a great fit alongside either Artemi Panarin or Chris Kreider who both rank inside the top 15 NHL goal scorers. This also allows the Rangers to move Kaapo Kaako back down to the third line a role he is more suited to play alongside the Rangers first acquisition from the deadline.

Alex Wennberg

Late in January, the New York Rangers announced that Filip Chytil had a setback in his injury recovery and would be out for the year. From that point on, it was clear that the Rangers needed to add someone to that could fill Chytil's role as a third-line center.

While Chytil had much more offensive upside, Wennberg is much better on the defensive side of the puck ranking in the top 27 percent of forwards in defensive WAR. At five-on-five Wennberg is somewhat of a ghost offensively he does contribute to the powerplay and will be a great addition to the Rangers second unit.

Wennberg may not be the most impactful player on the ice, but he certainly is not going to hurt you. Adding him to this roster allows the Rangers to put Barclay Goodgrow back on the fourth line where he belongs and if the Rangers can get Blake Wheeler back for the playoffs, they will have three lines that can compete with anyone in the NHL.

Chad Ruhwedel

The Rangers have one of the best defensive cores in the NHL with Adam Fox, Ryan Lindgren, K'Andre Miller, and Jacob Trouba. At the start of the season, the Rangers added Erik Gustafsson to this group to play on the third pairing and quarterback the second powerplay unit. Although Gustafsson is not a bad defender, he does like to take offensive chances which hurt his defensive zone entry chance prevention numbers and his puck retrieval numbers.

But that is where Ruhwedel comes in, he is a true defensive defenseman who excels at denying chances off of the rush. He ranks among the top 10 percent of defensemen in entry chance denial rate, the top 17 percent in overall defensive WAR among defensemen this season and in the top nine percent of defensemen in penalty kill WAR.

This Gustafsson and Ruhwedel pairing is the dream third pairing. One offensive puck mover gives you reliable minutes on the powerplay and the other is a big physical defensive defenceman that will log a ton of minutes on the penalty kill.

The Rangers may not be quite as deep as the Florida Panthers, but I think these deadline moves firmly solidify them as the second-best team in the Eastern Conference on paper and when Igor Shesterkin is your goalie, anything can happen if he gets hot.