With St. Cloud State getting upset by American International on Friday night, quite a few undrafted free agents of note are expected to make decisions on where they’re going to sign in the coming days. It appears that one has already made that choice as Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reports (Twitter link) that forward Patrick Newell will be signing an entry-level contract with the Rangers.
The 23-year-old had a dominant senior season, scoring more goals (21) than his first three years combined while also setting a career-best in assists with 26. That helped him earn a spot as one of the ten finalists for the Hobey Baker Award for the top NCAA player.
The Rangers have had some success in the college free agent market in recent years with defenseman Neal Pionk, winger Jimmy Vesey (after being unable to agree to terms with Nashville and Buffalo), and center Vinni Lettieri being among their recent additions that have already made their mark at the NHL level. Seeing other college free agents get a chance to play quickly certainly bolsters New York’s bargaining power and it appears it has helped them land another notable one in Newell.
In the meantime, decisions will be pending for undrafted free agents Jimmy Schuldt (defenseman, senior), Robby Jackson (winger, senior), and potentially Blake Lizotte (winger, sophomore). The Canadiens are also expected to try to convince center prospect Ryan Poehling (junior) to turn pro instead of returning for his final season. As a result, there should be plenty more news coming out of St. Cloud State in the near future.