With winger Alexander Frolov out for the rest of the season with a knee injury, the New York Rangers didn’t waste any time finding a replacement when they swiftly pulled the trigger on a deal today that will send defenseman Michal Rozsival to the Phoenix Coyotes in exchange for winger Wojtek Wolski.
This will be Wolski’s third NHL team in roughly a year after the Coyotes acquired him from the Colorado Avalanche at the trade deadline last season. Wolski immediately set lofty expectations for his contributions to the team by posting six goals and 12 assists in 18 games with the Coyotes. Wolski finished the season with career-high numbers with 23 goals, 42 assists and an impressive plus-21 in time split between Phoenix and Colorado. However, Wolski has failed to live up to that billing this season by registering a meager 16 points in 36 games and is on pace for the lowest point output of his career.
Wolski will likely see time on one of the top two lines in New York. At 24-years-old, Wolski should be coming into the prime of his career with four full NHL seasons under his belt. It will be interesting to see if this relocation helps regroup his game or if he will continue his sluggish performance.
At 32-years old, Roszival can still deliver a solid defensive performance on a nightly basis. However, the emergence of Marc Staal and Dan Girardi as the top defensive pairing in New York has created a slightly diminished role for Rozsival. The Rangers have a lot of good, young talent coming up on the blue line making Rozsival expandable. He should pay immediate dividends for Phoenix and help bolster their blue line night in and night out as long as he can stay healthy.