The New York Rangers have signed college free-agent right winger Austin Rueschhoff to an entry-level deal.
The New York Rangers have signed free-agent right winger Austin Rueschhoff to an entry-level contract, which will begin at the start of the 2020-21 season.
OFFICIAL: Rangers have signed free agent forward Austin Rueschhoff of @WesternMichU to an entry-level contract.
Full details ⬇️
— x – New York Rangers (@NYRangers) March 20, 2020
Rueschhoff is 22 years old and spent his collegiate career with Western Michigan University. In 36 games this past season, he notched 26 points coming in the form of 12 goals and 14 assists. He was tied for second on the team in goals and was third in points. He additionally finished second in shots on nets.
Rueschhoff’s performance in the final portion of this past season was most attention-grabbing. He registered 16 points (seven goals, nine assists) in the team’s last 12 games.
In three years with Western Michigan, he notched 35 goals and 35 assists. Rueschhoff was the team’s Rookie of the Year in 2017-18. He was also just one of 10 players in the NCAA to register at least 35 goals, 35 assists, and 100 penalty minutes across that three-year time span.
What makes Rueschhoff stand out the most? His size. He’s a towering 6-foot-7 and weighs 230 pounds. Rueschhoff’s success in the NHL is far from guaranteed, he may not even make it to that level. But if he can, his size will assuredly play to his advantage.
This move marks the Rangers’ second college free-agent signing of the year along with their acquisition of Patrick Khodorenko. Both are depth signings and since the Rangers don’t possess too many forwards in their system, they can benefit greatly from Khodorenko and Rueschhoff if the two are able to make it to the NHL.