Rangers prospect Lias Andersson requests to be traded

Elliotte Friedman and Chris Johnston examine the news around the NHL, including why the Edmonton Oilers did not acquire Taylor Hall, and the futures of both Ilya Kovalchuk and Brent Seabrook.

Lias Andersson, the seventh-overall pick in the 2017 NHL draft, may not be a member of the New York Rangers for very much longer.

At least, if the team honours his wishes.

“He (Andersson) has requested a trade from the Rangers organization,” Sportsnet’s Chris Johnston reported during the Headlines segment of Hockey Night in Canada.

Since being drafted by New York, Andersson has had a difficult time finding a consistent place at the NHL level, bouncing back and forth between the Rangers and their AHL affiliate, the Hartford Wolf Pack.

In 66 NHL games, Andersson has scored three goals and added six assists.

Andersson has played in 13 games for the Wolf Pack so far this season, picking up four goals and one assist. But, according to Johnston, he’s in search of a fresh start.

The Rangers, of course, are not obligated to honour Andersson’s request and any trade involving the 21-year-old can’t happen until after Dec. 27, when the league’s annual holiday roster freeze concludes.

“I think the challenge will be trying to trade an asset at this point in time where he hasn’t met the promise that some drafted so high (do),” Johnston explained. “But obviously he’s someone the Rangers can’t just give away for free.”

Recouping an asset in a potential Andersson trade would be a priority for the Rangers, as he was drafted with the pick they acquired in the blockbuster deal that shipped Derek Stepan and Antii Raanta to the Arizona Coyotes.

“They (the Rangers) were interested in (Jesse) Puljujarvi,” Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman added. ” I know they talked about an Andersson for Puljujarvi deal that didn’t happen before December 1. Just out of remote curiosity, I wonder if that gets revisited.”

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