Colin Blackwell
Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

The Rangers will lose one of their most impactful forwards of the 2021 season to Seattle.

The 2021 NHL expansion draft is upon us, and the Seattle Kraken have taken RW Colin Blackwell from the New York Rangers.

The Kraken were almost certainly between Blackwell and winger Julien Gauthier, but it looks like they opted to go with the proven and experienced veteran over a younger guy who has potential but lacks experience.

There was always a chance that the Rangers would expose Blackwell, but the fact they opted to protect Kevin Rooney instead was a bit confusing. They clearly value Rooney’s defensive ability and his skills as a penalty-killer over Blackwell’s offensive impact.

The Rangers are lucky that they have depth at the RW position and that the offseason isn’t up yet.

To add some mystery to this selection, Rangers reporter Rick Carpiniello reported that the Rangers could be looking to make a trade around the draft, potentially for Calgary Flames captain Mark Giordano.

Giordano is a veteran LHD, something the Rangers need and are looking for. Gauthier might be included in the package for Giordano so there’s a chance he won’t be a Ranger next season, after all.

However, the Rangers will be addressing a big need by adding Giordano.

Blackwell will be missed, especially on such a young team as the Rangers, but they’re still in good shape and are at the tail-end of a superb rebuild.

Leen has written about the MLB, NBA, NFL, NHL, and international soccer. She is currently the primary NHL writer for ESNY. Leen's work has been featured on Bleacher Report and she was formerly a contributor for FanSided's New York Mets blog, Rising Apple. She is a co-host of the Yankees-Mets Express podcast.