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Trade: Rangers acquire d-man Holden from Avs

Avalanche Jets Hockey

Colorado Avalanche’s Nick Holden (2) hits Winnipeg Jets’ Mathieu Perreault (85) during first period NHL hockey action in Winnipeg, Monday, Jan. 18, 2016. (Trevor Hagan/The Canadian Press via AP)


BUFFALO -- The Rangers needed help on defense, and got some on Day 2 of the NHL Draft.

After the seventh round wrapped, New York announced it had acquired Nick Holden from Colorado in exchange for a fourth-round selection in 2017.

Holden, 29, was a regular fixture in Colorado last year, appearing in all 82 games (while racking up 22 points). He has two years remaining on a three-year, $4.95 million deal -- a $1.65M average annual cap hit -- and was one of Colorado’s main penalty killers last year, finishing third on the team in average shorthanded TOI per game.

With the departures of Dan Boyle and Keith Yandle, the Blueshirts had holes to fill on defense. Holden will help in that regard.

It remains to be seen what the Avalanche’s plan is for the blueline. They are in the midst of negotiations with pending RFA Tyson Barrie, and believed to be interested in Winnipeg blueliner Jacob Trouba.

If that’s the case, Holden could be viewed as expendable. It was suggested he played too large a role last season (21:53 TOI per night) and might be better suited for a sixth defenseman, third-pairing role.