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Rangers sign Steve Fogarty to entry level contract; Mats Zuccarello nominated for Masterson Trophy

Bobby Bevilacqua

Steve fogarty

Steve Fogarty. Photo courtesy of Michael Yu/The Observer.

After signing Michigan prospect Boo Nieves to an entry level contract, the Rangers announced that they signed 2011 third round draft pick Steve Fogarty to two year, entry level contract.

Just like Nieves, the contract will not kick in until next season, and he will join the Hartford Wolf Pack on an ATO – essentially a tryout. The signing came after his senior season at Notre Dame.

Fogarty, turning 23 in April, recorded 23 points in 37 games during his senior season, his highest point total in his four years at the collegiate level. He helped the Fighting Irish reach the NCAA tournament, where they were knocked out by Nieves and the Michigan Wolverines.

Fogarty was drafted out of Edina High Schoo in Minnesota, where he was a big time offensive player. Before joining Notre Dame, he spent a season in the BCHL, which is the last step of junior hockey you can play in without losing your NCAA eligibility. That Penticon Vees team was stacked from top to bottom, meaning that Fogarty wasn’t the sole shining star on that team. Because of that, he served as a shutdown defensive center, which helped him develop that side of his game.

He served a similar role at Notre Dame, being used as a defensive player and a penalty killer from his freshman year. Fogarty would go on to become the team captain by his junior year and has been a great leader. His only problem has been consistent offensive production, sometimes going long stretches without points, and finishing with an okay 23 points (10-13-23) as a senior.

The Wolf Pack will be losing A LOT of players after this season with contracts expiring, so adding Fogarty will bring in some new blood and let him get acclimated to professional hockey. While his offensive game hasn’t come along just yet, he can still be a potentially solid third or fourth line center that can chip in some points every now and then. He’s a smart player with a pretty solid skillset, so watching him develop should be interesting.

In other news, Mats Zuccarello was named as the Rangers’ nominee for the Bill Masterson Trophy, which is awarded to the player that best exemplifies perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to the sport.

mats zuccarello first star 10-30

Photo courtesy of MSG Photos.

I can’t think of a player more deserving of the award, especially following what Zuccarello had gone through. Last year in the playoffs, Zuccarello was struck in the side of the head by a slap shot and had to be taken to the hospital, where he was diagnosed with a skull fracture and bleeding on the brain. He had to work to regain his speech and went through extensive rehab to get back into game shape.

And he’s returned to the league playing the best hockey of his career. Zuccarello is tied with Derick Brassard for the team lead with 57 points, and is right behind him in goals (24) as well. He hasn’t missed a game and has easily been one of the team’s best players throughout the season.

On top of that, he’s just 5-foot-7 and was never drafted and had to deal with that for his entire career. That’s enough of a challenge, overcoming the stereotype of small players in the league, and then he had to overcome a brain injury. If you’re talking about perseverance and dedication, Zuccarello is the definition of that.

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Posted on March 29, 2016, in Rangers Updates and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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