Harvard defenseman Adam Fox, whose NHL rights are owned by Carolina, won't be signing an entry-level deal with the Hurricanes, according to The Athletic's Pierre LeBrun, and the Jericho, N.Y. native is being linked to the Rangers.
The Hurricanes will try to trade Fox, owner Tom Dundon told The News & Observer. Carolina acquired Fox's rights from Calgary in a trade at last year's NHL Draft which saw the Hurricanes bring in Fox, Dougie Hamilton and Michael Ferland for Noah Hanifin and Elias Lindholm.
LeBrun had recently mentioned that the Rangers are believed to be among the teams interested in Fox, a third-round pick from the 2016 draft, and it wouldn't be a surprise if the 21-year-old righty were interested in joining the Blueshirts, who were his favorite team growing up.
In his January midseason prospects rankings, The Athletic's Corey Pronmon ranked Fox as his No. 44 overall prospect. The Rangers have acquired several defenseman since commencing their rebuild, including Libor Hajek, Ryan Lindgren and Yegor Rykov. They also drafted K'Andre Miller and Nils Lundkvist in the first round of the 2018 draft. Lundkvist is the only righty out of that group, so Fox would bring some balance to their defense prospects, as well as some impressive skill.
Should Fox get traded to a team he wants to sign with, he could do so this year and forgo his senior season at Harvard. However, he could also do what current Ranger and Harvard alum Jimmy Vesey did in 2016 and play out his senior year in order to become an unrestricted free agent after completing his fourth NCAA season. Vesey was drafted by Nashville and had his rights traded to Buffalo for a third-round pick, giving the Sabres extra time for an exclusive negotiating window before the summer of 2016, but their efforts went for naught. The Rangers ended up winning Vesey's free-agent sweepstakes.
Fox played for Team USA at the World Junior Championship in 2017 and 2018. He had 10 goals and 38 assists for the Crimson this season.