New York Rangers Add Prospect Brenden Kotyk to Harford Wolf Pack 2
Apr 8, 2017; Chicago, IL, USA; Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs defenseman Brenden Kotyk (10) shoots on Denver Pioneers goalie Tanner Jaillet (36) and defenseman Blake Hillman (25) during the first period of play during the championship game of the 2017 Frozen Four at United Center. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Rangers added prospect defenseman Brenden Kotyk to the Hartford Wolf Pack. 

On Thursday, the Hartford Wolf Pack announced the signing of defenseman Brenden Kotyk from the University of Minnesota Duluth Bulldogs (NCHC).

Kotyk skated in 41 games for the Bulldogs this past season registering three goals to go along with 10 assists for 13 points. Kotyk also finished the season with 57 penalty minutes and an impressive +20 rating. Kotyk stands 6-foot-6 and weighs 240 pounds and is a right-handed (yes!) defenseman.

It seems like a safe add to the Hartford Wolf Pack and also will go down as the first signing for new Wolf Pack GM Chris Drury.

Kotyk played three years at UMD after transferring from a top Division III school. An impressive yet odd jump to make for most prospects, but hopefully, he’s a late bloomer. He’s older for a prospect now at 26 years old, but at the very least will add strength, poise, and size to the Wolf Pack blueline, something that has been amiss the last few years for Hartford.

There’s not much out there in terms the scouting report on Kotyk at this point. It is worth noting that this former Division III transfer was named an alternate Captain as a senior, which shows tremendous character and leadership abilities. Kotyk sat one year out per NCAA rules after transferring, but after fulfilling that requirement was able to get on the ice all three years compiling a total of 23 points across 97 games.

Nobody is going to mistake this guy for Erik Karlsson, however, there is still a place in the NHL for solid positional play and a good first pass out of the zone, things Kotyk are praised for. Only time will tell if Kotyk can one day crack the Rangers’ roster. I suspect him to become a solid second pair player with the Wolf Pack.

Kotyk is signed to an AHL contract so does not count against the number of contracts the Rangers have. If he was to get called up, he would most likely have to sign a PTO in order to play with the big club. It also worth noting that Kotyk was teammates with new Rangers defenseman, Neal Pionk, who was recently signed out of UMD.

This could bode well for the Rangers from a familiarity standpoint if Pionk is not to make the opening night roster and is sent to the AHL.

Skip ahead to the 6:30 mark to see the feature on Kotyk.

Neal Purcell has a tremendous passion for New York Rangers hockey and the sport of hockey in general. A graduate of SUNY Cortland in Upstate NY, Purcell coaches both a high school hockey team and a travel team in the winter. Purcell is also a part of a small family business in the Central New York Region.