The Rangers announced yesterday that they have signed University of Alaska – Anchorage forward Paul Crowder to a professional contract. The Seawolves season came to an end last week when they were eliminated from the WCHA playoffs by Denver University.
The 6-3 200lb forward will likely start his professional career in Hartford, though whether he remains at his natural center position remains to be seen. For UAA, Crowder played in all situations picking up six PP goals and two SH goals this season. The Victoria, BC native lead the Seawolves in points (33) and PP goals and SH goals, was second on the team with 14 goals and fourth in penalty minutes (44).
His coach at UAA told Inside College Hockey the following about him: “His greatest attribute is consistency, and he’s very, very coachable. He’s great on faceoffs, is a good penalty killer, has solid defensive awareness and is an effective fore-checker. He can play the finesse game, but he also likes to hit [and] play a physical brand of hockey.”
Terms of his contract were not released.
The Rangers will be hoping that he can follow the track of other graduating UFA seniors that went on to play for the Rangers. Jed Ortmeyer played 177 games for New York, while Thomas Pock saw 59 games in Rangers blue.
Other notable UFA signings by the Rangers from the NCAA over the past decade include Lucas Lawson, Scott Meyer and Bobby Andrews. Several more have also earned AHL contracts with the Wolf Pack, including David Urquhart, Mike Taylor and Colby Genoway.