Crawley, 20, was drafted by the Rangers in the 4th round of the 2017 NHL Draft. A defensive standout for the London Knights in the Ontario Hockey League, he had a strong showing at the Traverse City Tournament and scored a goal against the Devils in his lone preseason showing.
Currently with the Hartford Wolf Pack, Crawley could have been signed to an AHL contract. That the Rangers instead committed to an NHL contract is an implied endorsement of what he has shown the coaching staff in the last month. The Rangers could still send Crawley to the ECHL or even back to the OHL for an overage year. However, the intention seems to be to use him in Hartford this season.
In a related move, the Rangers sent Sean Day back to the Windsor Spitfires of the OHL. Day, 19, was eligible to play in the AHL this year. However, Hartford’s crowded defense would have made it tough to find him playing time. Instead, he will play heavy minutes for Windsor in all situations.