In a somewhat surprising move the New York Rangers have signed 25-year-old defenseman Mason Geertsen to an NHL contract. Geertsen was previously on an AHL contract with the Hartford Wolf Pack, where he spent the entirety of the 2019-20 season. He was originally selected 93rd overall by the Colorado Avalanche in the 2013 Draft and joined the Wolf Pack as a free agent.
In order to sign him to an NHL deal, the Rangers had to place him on waivers yesterday. He cleared and is now officially a New York Ranger on a two-way deal through next season.
Geertsen, 6-foot-4, is a big, physical defenseman who is getting rewarded for good service by the Rangers with this contract. He piled up 109 penalty minutes in 60 games with Hartford last year to lead all AHL defensemen in PIM and he has 281 games of AHL experience under his belt — 64 of those games have been played with the Wolf Pack. In those 64 games, he has zero goals and nine assists.
At this stage of his career, the odds are stacked against Geertsen becoming a fixture at the next level. However, the Rangers organization clearly saw something in him that they deemed worthy of investment. The Wolf Pack certainly won’t be hurting for size or physicality with the big Albertan whenever the big Albertan is on the blue line.
Geertsen is the second defenseman the Rangers have signed in as many days. The club signed 2020 first-round pick (19th overall) Braden Schneider to his entry-level contract yesterday.