The New York Rangers announced they have signed Ryan Lindgren to an entry-level contract.
OFFICIAL: #NYR have agreed to terms with defenseman Ryan Lindgren on an entry-level contract.— New York Rangers (@NYRangers) March 22, 2018
Lindgren, 20, served as one of the University of Minnesota’s alternate captains this season while playing in 35 games with the Gophers. pic.twitter.com/8EOZ55UFOw
Lindgren was acquired by the Rangers in the Rick Nash trade, and appeared in 67 NCAA games with the University of Minnesota, most recently serving as an alternate captain. It should be noted that there wasn’t clarification made on when the deal is starting. It could be for next season, and if that’s the case he could sign an ATO to join the Hartford Wolf Pack. If the deal is for now, than the Rangers can do whatever they want.
UPDATE: 4:24 P.M.
Rangers sign Lindgren, who will play in Hartford under ATO before contract kicks in next year.— Larry Brooks (@NYP_Brooksie) March 22, 2018
That makes a ton of sense, and this gives the Rangers flexibility for the future.
After the trade was made, Adam did a breakdown on the return and included a lot of information on the 6’0”, 202-pound Lindgren.
I put together a big report on Ryan Lindgren here: https://t.co/2GY5WtPOKT— Adam Herman (@AdamZHerman) March 22, 2018
Here are a few snippets from that story:
There are a few reasons for optimism that Lindgren can beat the odds, though. First, Minnesota head coach Don Lucia does not particularly encourage his shutdown defensemen to get involved in the offensive side of the game. Under Lucia, Brady Skjei very often got rid of the puck before center ice and didn’t often join rushes or try to make plays in the offensive zone. Once he turned pro, the restraints were removed, and he showed more offensive ability than he ever let on in college.
The other reason for optimism is Lindgren’s skating ability. Typically, “shutdown defensemen” who don’t produce points are the usual slow, clumsy players who belong in 1988. They become exposed as glorified tree stumps in the NHL. Lindgren, though, is a great skater. He seals gaps quickly and can keep up with the fastest wingers. In theory, the right coaches could work with him on joining the rush.
Lindgren’s upside is limited due to the lack of offense, but he is an interesting combination of speed, strength, and personality. If the right buttons are pushed, he could turn into a character #4-#6 defenseman.
In that piece Adam made mention to Don Lucia, and it just so happens that he announced his resignation on Tuesday after coaching the Gophers for 19 seasons. I wonder if his departure led to Lindgren signing his deal with the Rangers instead of staying in school.
As stated in the update above, Lindgren is joining the Wolf Pack on an amateur tryout for the remainder of the season, and therefore his NHL contract will kick in starting next season, making it a true three-year ELC.
This transaction will give Wolf Pack GM Chris Drury the opportunity to evaluate Lindgren closely, and give him an updated scouting report to see where the newest defense prospect will fit in with the organizations rebuild plans.