Last year at the NHL trade deadline, New York Rangers’ GM Glen Sather made a rather controversial move in dealing star winger Marian Gaborik to the Columbus Blue Jackets for a package of players to add depth to the Rangers’ roster.
Headlining the deal was center Derick Brassard, who most viewed as the big piece headed back to New York in exchange for Gaborik. Another name people were talking about was grinding forward Derek Dorsett, a player who added grit to a lineup in desperate need of an intimidating player on one of the bottom two lines.
The “other player” was John Moore.
Up until then, Moore had the reputation as a young defenseman who was a first round draft pick in 2009 that never lived up to expectations. Scouts saw plenty of potential, but that potential would seemingly never be fulfilled. It looks like the scouts were wrong.
Moore made an immediate impact for the Rangers, helping direct a struggling power play towards generating more scoring opportunities, and adding an offensive skill they lacked with their defensemen outside of Michael Del Zotto. With blazing speed and a heavy shot, Moore began to get more playing time; and with each shift, he showed why the Blue Jackets took him with the 21st pick overall.
Ranger fans quickly developed high hopes and so far, everything seems to be moving in the right direction for him.
In his first training camp with head coach Alain Vigneault, he has continues to impress the coaching staff and his teammates. Vigneault was asked if he was surprised by anyone on the Rangers’ roster after the first week of camp, and Moore was the first name out of his mouth. Vigneault gushed over Moore’s skating ability and spoke to how well he could join a rush.
Vigneault wants his defensemen to carry the puck and create scoring chances, something Moore is very comfortable doing and seemingly improving on each time he hits the ice.
Moore looks like he has found himself in the perfect situation. He is playing for a coach who suits his style of play, and I believe he will flourish in this system. If Moore gets time on the power play, there is no reason to think he won’t be able to become the type defensive scoring threat the Rangers are looking for.
Ranger fans should be excited to see what Moore brings to the table this year. A young talent with a bright future, the Rangers may have found a unique talent — the type of two-way defenseman that teams across the NHL are always searching for and rarely find.
Martin Burns is a New York Rangers’ and sports writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter!