Rangers trade Ryan Reaves to Wild: Why the forward is a good fit for Minnesota

The New York Rangers have traded forward Ryan Reaves to the Wild in exchange for a fifth-round pick in the 2025 NHL Draft, Minnesota announced Tuesday. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Reaves has played in 12 games for the Rangers this season.
  • The Wild are having trouble generating offense and finding lineup fits amid an 8-8-2 start to the season.
  • While Reaves is not expected to provide a big offense boost, both he and general manager Bill Guerin agree the forward brings something the team needs, “energy” and “swagger.”
  • Guerin said Reaves will make his Wild debut Friday against the Toronto Maple Leafs.

The Athletic‘s instant analysis:

Backstory

Reaves has been a healthy scratch in eight of New York’s last nine games and the Rangers needed to start collecting cap space, so he was likely going to be waived if they couldn’t find a trade. He was well-liked in the dressing room, but there was just no room for him in the lineup. — Staple

Why Reaves is a good fit for Minnesota

As The Athletic has reported for two weeks, Guerin had been pursuing Reaves in order to bulk up the bottom six and start winning some board battles. Reaves is still one of the toughest — if not the toughest — man in hockey and the Wild are one of the most undersized, least physical teams in hockey. They’ve lost a lot of board battles this season and rank 24th in hits per 60 minutes at 21.29. Since entering the NHL in 2010-11, Reaves ranks third among active players in hits (2,645) and sixth in penalty minutes (992).

According to hockeyfights.com, Reaves has also gotten into 78 fights in his NHL career, including one with Marcus Foligno on the Wild’s opening night. — Russo

What they’re saying

“No GM’s ever traded for me because they needed goals or points. I bring energy, I bring physical play, I bring swagger. I look forward to bringing that in Minny. I’m excited. They had a good run last year, they’re a good team, just fell short,” Reaves told The Athletic.

Guerin told The Athletic that acquiring Reaves was “not for the fighting.” Instead, Guerin said the gritty forward was brought in for other attributes.

“He’s a biiiigggg personality. He’s got a lot of energy. He’s got swagger. We’ve been missing that,” Guerin said. “The energy he brings is really good. And size. He’s gonna help us get our identity back.”

“Obviously a competitor and very tough. Also has been on a lot of experienced playoff teams. He knows the grind and can bring that energy,” Foligno said to The Athletic in a text message.

Required reading

(Photo: Charles LeClaire / USA Today)

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