The New York Rangers made their first move of the summer this afternoon, when they dealt two 2nd round picks and prospect Roman Horak to the Calgary Flames in exchange for a very promising defensive prospect in Tim Erixon, who signed a contract with the Rangers immediately after the trade, to beat the 5 pm deadline he was not going to reach with Calgary. I do not know much about Erixon, but many have compared him to current Rangers’ defenseman Ryan McDonagh.
The son of former Ranger Jan Erixon (he was born in New York, and watched his dad play with the Blueshirts), Tim was drafted in the first round (23rd overall) in 2009, and has played in the Swedish Elite League since then. His totals in four seasons with the SEL are 140 games played, with 14 goals and 30 assists. Hockey’s Future had this to say about him in April:
Calgary’s most recent first round draft pick has emerged as one of the organization’s top overall prospects. Tim Erixon turned in another strong season for Skelleftea, averaging almost 20 minutes of ice time per game and playing in all situations in his third SEL season. His point production and role have increased each season and the 20-year-old defenseman finished this one with five goals and 19 assists in 48 games. His 24 points ranked second among defenders, trailing only David Rundblad’s (OTT) explosive season.
Next season’s training camp ought to prove very exciting because of the many young defensemen the Rangers have, in addition to who is already on the roster. This bold move could prove ominous for Michael Del Zotto, and perhaps the Rangers will look to trade him, since analysts across the board are saying that Erixon is NHL ready. It is really hard to get excited about a hockey trade with temperatures above 90 degrees where I am, but this is a solid move, and I think Erixon will improve the team with his speed, and further reinforce a very strong, young, Rangers’ defensive corp.