Rangers Secure Services Of Petr Prucha
After a lengthy delay due to the ongoing IIHF-NHL transfer agreement negotiations, the Rangers have announced the signing of Petr Prucha to a professional contract. An 8th round pick in the 2002 draft, Prucha saw his stock rise after a 2003-04 season which saw him set career marks for goals, assists and points as well as a trip to the World Championships where he represented the Czech Republic along side fellow Ranger Jaromir Jagr and former NHLer Jiri Dopita.
Considered to be a strong skater and effective forechecker, Prucha struggled in 2004-05 when several NHL players joined Pardubice and cut into his playing time. With the club struggling on offense, Prucha picked it up in the off-season, leading his team to the Extraliga title. The playoff performance earned him a new two year contract with his team and this remains an issue with club manager Zbynek Kusy. It is expected that Prucha will attend the Rangers training camp and will have a chance at breaking into the NHL roster.
Third Goaltending Prospect Signed
The Rangers announced today that University of Nebraska goaltender Chris Holt has elected to forego his final two seasons of NCAA eligibility and join the Rangers. The Canadian born Holt stepped it up last season as the Mavericks surprised many in the CCHA by finishing in the top half of the conference for the first time in team history and winning their first playoff game. Holt was selected as CCHA defensive player of the week twice, and apparently impressed the Rangers enough in his stint at the team’s prospect camp to solicit an offer for a pro contract.
The departure of Jason Labarbera to Los Angeles opened up a spot on the depth chart for the Rangers to offer the contract. The backup spot in New York will now likely be filled by one of Henrik Lundqvist, Al Montoya or Chris Holt with Lundqvist considered the early favorite.
|2003-2004||U of Nebraska-Omaha||CCHA||27||5||17||2||1492||81||719||800||3.26||0.899|
Rangers Sign Undrafted Finn
The Rangers announced today that they have signed defenseman Hannu Pikkarainen to a professional contract. The 22 year old Pikkarainen drew attention in his first full year in the Finnish SM-Liiga, scoring 7 goals and adding 13 assists in 49 appearances for HIFK. A smooth skating defenseman who has been compared to NHLers Kim Johnsson and Jordan Leopold, Pikkarainen is considered to be a fairly raw prospect who will probably spend time in Hartford before challenging for an NHL job.
|2000-2001||HIFK||Jr B SM-Sarja||20||1||10||11||–||59||–||–||–|
|2000-2001||HIFK||Jr A SM-Sarja||19||4||7||11||–||6||–||–||–|
|2001-2002||HIFK||Jr A SM-Sarja||44||8||14||22||–||24||–||–||–|
|2002-2003||HIFK||Jr A SM-Sarja||11||3||11||14||–||16||–||–||–|
|2003-2004||HIFK||Jr A SM-Sarja||12||3||9||12||–||32||–||–||–|
|2003-2004||HC Salamat||1 div||2||0||1||1||–||2||–||–||–|