Rangers sign Andrew Yogan, Surgery for Zuccarello

While on the rink, it’s been a mixed back lately with our team doing just enough to hang onto the top seed over the surging Pens, the Rangers made some news off it today by signing prospect Andrew Yogan to an entry level contract.

The former ’10 fourth round pick scored 41 goals for Peterborough of the Ontario Hockey League (OHL) this season. That was a career best along with the 78 points he tallied. From Blueshirts United:

Yogan, who led Peterborough in both goals and assists, ranked sixth in the OHL in goal scoring and tied for 15th in points this season. IN 240 career games in major junior, Yogan recorded 96 goals, 186 points and 287 penalty minutes.

Last year Yogan completed his season by playing in two games on an amateur tryout with the Connecticut Whale of AHL, notching a pair of goals in his pro debut and finishing with three points in two games. He has already played three games with the Whale this season on another amateur tryout, and he is scoreless.

What this signing means is that we add another young forward to our already strong farm system. Had they not reached agreement, Yogan could’ve turned unrestricted on July 1. Instead, he’s signed and should be part of our 60-man roster next Fall.

Of course, some fans were already speculating if we would see Yogan this Spring. But the contract is for next year and would’ve been unrealistic to expect an unproven 20-year old to basically skip Connecticut and contribute on our roster that’s challenging for tops in the league. Come on. Meanwhile, Chris Kreider and Boston College advanced to the Frozen Four with a dominant 4-0 blanking of former champ Minnesota-Duluth yesterday. He didn’t get on the score sheet but in their previous win, scored both goals. His size and speed are evident. It’ll be interesting to see if he turns pro after two weeks when the college hockey tournament concludes.

Zuccarello to go under knife: In their recent defeat to Buffalo Friday, forward Mats Zuccarello fractured his left wrist while diving to block a shot in the 4-1 loss. Unfortunate since the mighty mite had looked good since his recall, tallying twice on the power play and setting up another. Zucc was more feisty on the forecheck and adding skill to an otherwise putrid unit. His creativity is gone unless the team goes far.

Instead, Zuccarello will undergo surgery tomorrow which will keep him out indefinitely. It really stinks because he looked like he was finally going to stick. Who knows if he’ll ever play for us or even in the NHL again? His contract is up. Even though the Rangers hold a club option, it’s a two-way deal, which makes it very unlikely MZA would stay. I wouldn’t. John Tortorella didn’t exactly treat him fairly. This isn’t an extreme case like Sean Avery, who is expected to retire after his banishment from the Whale. Zuccarello was younger and had more ability that could’ve helped our inconsistent offense.

I really hope we do see him again. Just don’t get your hopes up.

About Derek Felix

Derek Felix is sports blogger whose previous experience included separate stints at ESPN as a stat researcher for NHL and WNBA telecasts. The Staten Island native also interned for or hockey historian Stan Fischler and worked behind the scenes for MSG as a production assistant on New Jersey Devil telecasts. An avid New York sports fan who enjoys covering events, writing, concerts, movies and the outdoors, Derek has covered consecutive Staten Island Yankees NY Penn League championships in '05 and '06. He also scored Berkeley Carroll high school basketball games from '06-14 and provided an outlet for the Park Slope school's student athletes. Hitting Back gives them the publicity they deserve. In his free time, he also attends Ranger games and is a loyal St. John's alum with a sports management degree. The Battle Of New York administrator and chief editor can be followed below on Twitter and Facebook.
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