Chris Kreider is in high demand.
The Rangers are reportedly seeking a return for Kreider equal to what they received for Kevin Hayes at last year's trade deadline. The Winnipeg Jets sent New York a first-round pick and forward Brendan Lemieux in that deal. Like Kreider, Hayes was a pending unrestricted free agent, though he plays a more coveted position at center.
Kreider is expected to be the top rental target as the deadline approaches. The 28-year-old boasts a rare combination of skill and size, as well as a relatively affordable $4.625-million cap hit.
His injury status could complicate matters, however. The 6-foot-3, 217-pound sniper took an inadvertent knee to the head from teammate Mika Zibanejad during Saturday night's win over the Detroit Red Wings. He missed Monday's loss to the Dallas Stars as a result.
Kreider has spent his entire eight-year career with the Rangers, who drafted him 19th overall in 2009. He has 18 goals and 35 points in 50 games for New York this season.