Could the Rangers and Coyotes pull off a Zucker for Kakko swap? Our NHL trade experts break down the potential deal.

The NHL trade rumor mill is in full force, and this time Sportsnet has linked the New York Rangers and Arizona Coyotes. The speculative buzz centers around a potential swap of Jason Zucker for Kaapo Kakko, with the Coyotes retaining 50% of Zucker’s salary.

Why the Rangers Do It

Jason Zucker is having a down year with a struggling Coyotes team, but there are reasons for the NY Rangers to consider this trade. Zucker’s 27-goal campaign last season proves he still has scoring touch. Give him a playmaking center on a better team, and he could easily rekindle his goal-scoring form. The Rangers desperately need a boost in their middle-six, which Kakko is not providing. A fresh start could benefit both Zucker and Kakko. This trade is close to a cap wash, making it financially viable for New York.

Why the Coyotes Do It

Arizona is firmly in rebuild mode, and draft picks won’t cut it forever. Bringing in Kakko, a former second-overall pick with size, would give them a young player to develop. The Finnish winger hasn’t hit his stride in New York, but perhaps a change of scenery and a more prominent role in Arizona would unlock his potential.

The Verdict

This trade presents risks and rewards for both sides. The Rangers get a proven goal scorer craving a rebound on a contender, while the Coyotes receive a young, high-ceiling player needing a fresh start. It’s a calculated gamble that could work out well for both teams involved.

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