*Courtesy New York Rangers*
NEW YORK, February 25, 2018 – New York Rangers General Manager Jeff Gorton announced today that the team has acquired a first-round pick in the 2018 NHL Entry Draft, defenseman Ryan Lindgren, forwards Ryan Spooner and Matt Beleskey, and a seventh-round pick in the 2019 NHL Entry Draft from the Boston Bruins in exchange for Rick Nash.
Lindgren, 20, has skated in 33 collegiate games with the University of Minnesota this season, registering two goals and five assists for seven points, along with 49 penalty minutes. A sophomore in college, Lindgren has played in 65 career collegiate games, registering three goals and 11 assists for 14 points, along with a plus-seven rating and 114 penalty minutes. He was selected to the Big Ten’s All-Rookie Team and was an Honorable Mention for the Big Ten All-Star Team during his freshman year in 2016-17, as he helped the University of Minnesota win the Big Ten Regular Season Championship. Lindgren is also serving as one of the University of Minnesota’s alternate captains this season.
The 6-0, 202-pounder has represented the United States in several tournaments. Lindgren helped the United States earn a bronze medal at the 2018 IIHF World Junior Championship, and he won a gold medal while representing the United States at the 2017 IIHF World Junior Championship. He also served as the captain for the United States at the 2016 IIHF World U18 Championship, recording five points (two goals, three assists) and a plus-five rating in seven games to help the United States earn a bronze medal.
The Burnsville, Minnesota, native was originally selected by Boston in the second round, 49th overall, of the 2016 NHL Entry Draft.
Spooner, 26, has skated in 39 games with Boston this season, registering nine goals and 16 assists for 25 points, along with a plus-10 rating and two penalty minutes. Spooner is one of two NHL players who have registered 25 or more points and two or fewer penalty minutes this season (along with Ryan O’Reilly). He is tied for fourth on the Bruins in game-winning goals this season (three). He has posted a plus/minus rating of even or better in 32 of the 39 games he has played in 2017-18. Spooner registered at least one point in 19 games over a stretch of 28 games in which he played from Nov. 24 vs. Pittsburgh to Feb. 11 at New Jersey, recording 23 points (nine goals, 14 assists) and a plus-13 rating over the span. In addition, Spooner’s plus-10 rating this season is on pace to be his career-high.
The 5-10, 187-pounder has skated in 253 career NHL games over parts of six seasons (2012-13 – 2017-18), all with Boston, registering 41 goals and 101 assists for 142 points, along with 59 penalty minutes. Spooner established career-highs in games played (80), goals (13), assists (36), and points (49) during the 2015-16 season. Thus far in his NHL career, 11 of Spooner’s 41 goals have been game-winning goals. Spooner registered 35 power play points over the 2015-16 and 2016-17 seasons (nine power play goals and 26 power play assists) and established career-highs in power play assists (15) and power play points (18) in 2016-17. In addition, he was selected to the AHL’s All-Rookie Team in 2012-13, as he led all AHL rookies in assists (40) and points (57) with the Providence Bruins.
The Ottawa, Ontario, native was originally selected by Boston in the second round, 45th overall, of the 2010 NHL Entry Draft.
Beleskey, 29, has skated in 472 career NHL games over parts of 10 seasons (2008-09 – 2017-18) with Anaheim and Boston, registering 75 goals and 82 assists for 157 points, along with 433 penalty minutes. He established a career-high with 22 goals during the 2014-15 season with the Ducks, and he established career-highs in assists (22) and points (37) with Boston in 2015-16.
By acquiring a first-round pick, the Rangers now have nine picks in the 2018 NHL Entry Draft, including six picks in the first three rounds and four picks in the first two rounds (their own first-round pick, Boston’s first-round pick, their own second-round pick, New Jersey’s second-round pick, their own third-round pick, Boston’s third-round pick, their own fourth-round pick, their own fifth-round pick, and their own sixth-round pick). The Rangers have two picks in the first round of the NHL Entry Draft for the second consecutive year, as the Blueshirts selected Lias Andersson (seventh overall) and Filip Chytil (21st overall) in the first round of the 2017 NHL Entry Draft. In addition, by acquiring a seventh-round pick, the Rangers now have eight picks in the 2019 NHL Entry Draft (each of their own picks in all seven rounds and Boston’s seventh-round pick).
Nash skated in 375 games with the Rangers for parts of six seasons (2012-13 – 2017-18), registering 145 goals and 107 assists for 252 points.