Panthers trade Frank Vatrano to Rangers for 2022 4th-rounder

NEW YORK (AP) — The New York Rangers acquired Frank Vatrano from the Florida Panthers on Wednesday for a 2022 fourth-round pick, a trade between two playoff-bound Eastern Conference teams that serves a different purpose for each.

Getting Vatrano gives the Rangers the kind of veteran forward general manager Chris Drury was looking for. The move clears more than $2.5 million of salary cap space for the Atlantic Division-leading Panthers, who could add more players before the trade deadline Monday.

Vatrano has 10 goals and nine assists in 49 games this season. He scored the tying and winning goals for Florida on Tuesday night at San Jose.

The 28-year-old originally from Massachusetts has 160 points in 394 NHL regular-season and playoff games.

“After almost five seasons with the club, we want to thank Frank for his professionalism and compete,” Panthers GM Bill Zito said. “His team-first approach was always appreciated, and we wish him all the best moving forward.”

The Panthers will get whichever is later in the fourth round between the Rangers’ own pick and one previously acquired from Winnipeg.

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