Scouting Brett Howden, Filip Gustavsson and other prospects dealt at the trade deadline and their path to the NHL

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After it looked like the trade deadline wouldn’t bring the drama that was seemingly promised all week, the New York Rangers and Tampa Bay Lightning dropped a bit of a bomb. New York sent Ryan McDonagh and J.T. Miller to the Bolts for a rebuild-friendly care package highlighted by current NHLer Vladislav Namestnikov.

While several prospects and draft picks were moved ahead of Monday’s deadline, the final blockbuster of the day was the one that brought a lot of intrigue to prospect fans. The Rangers had already signaled that the rebuild was coming, and there was some major demolition done in the past week as part of a dramatic punching of the reset button. There could be even more on the horizon.

As much as we’d like to boil it down and say there is a right and a wrong way to do it, the truth is, there’s no set path. Some rebuilds hinge solely on the bouncing of a draft lottery ball, others require years of stops and starts, multiple general managers and a long dark tunnel through which it is difficult to see the light of day. We don’t know where the Rangers’ rebuild will go from here, but we do know GM Jeff Gorton went into full-on asset collection mode and will leave the trade deadline with a lot of options for how to use those assets.

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