With their offseason now underway, the New York Rangers are already making great strides in their roster rebuild. To add to an already deep prospect pool as it is, the Rangers made a trade to add another top prospect to their organization on Tuesday, acquiring defensemen Adam Fox from the Carolina Hurricanes in exchange for a 2019 second-round pick and a conditional third-round pick in the 2020 NHL Entry Draft. The pick becomes a second-round selection if Fox plays 30 games or more with the team next season.
Fox was acquired by the Hurricanes back on June 23rd, 2018 in the trade that sent Elias Lindholm and Noah Hanifin to the Calgary Flames for Dougie Hamilton and Michael Ferland. Upon his arrival in Carolina, Fox told the Hurricanes that he would not sign with the team which opened the door for a trade to get done. If he did not sign by the end of the 2019-20 season, Fox would be eligible to become an unrestricted free agent.
To avoid losing him as a free agent, the Hurricanes traded his rights and got a significant return as a result. It would have been highly unlikely that a team would have given up any more assets for Adam Fox, a player who if he had stayed, would be a free agent in just one year’s time.
Fox has established himself as one of the best defensive prospects in the NHL. Playing for Harvard of the NCAA this season, Fox led his team in scoring with 9 goals and 39 assists, making for a total of 48 points in just 33 games played. This was extremely impressive, especially considering that he is a defender as well as the team’s second highest scorer.
Reilly Walsh had 31 points in the same amount of games played as Fox. Towards the end of his stellar regular season, Fox was named a finalist alongside Cale Makar for the NCAA’s annual Hobey Baker Award.
The Hurricanes were pressed for options regarding what to do with Adam Fox. They knew that he would not sign with the team and they did not want to lose him in free agency for nothing. Although Fox has the potential to massively exceed the value of the Hurricanes return, it was a fair trade considering that he would have left them at next season’s conclusion via free agency.