In a move reminiscent of last year's demotion of rookie Matt Gilroy, the New York Rangers announced today that struggling second-year defenseman Mike Del Zotto has been assigned to the Connecticut Whale.
Rookie defenseman Ryan McDonagh has been recalled.
The move was alluded to by Head Coach John Tortorella at various points over the last two weeks when Del Zotto found himself out of the lineup with an inability to regain his impressive form from last season.
Below is the official release:
New York, January 3, 2011 – New York Rangers
President and General Manager Glen Sather announced today that defenseman Ryan McDonagh
has been recalled from the Connecticut Whale of the American Hockey League
(AHL), while defenseman Michael Del Zotto has been assigned to Connecticut.
McDonagh, 21, has registered one goal and seven assists, along with 12 penalty
minutes in 38 games with Connecticut this season. He ranks second among Whale
defensemen in scoring with eight points, and is second with seven assists.
McDonagh tallied five points (one goal, four assists) in an eight-game span
from December 11 vs. Manchester to December 29 vs. Portland, ending the stretch
with a three-game assist streak from December 21 at Manchester to December 29.
He notched his first professional goal with a power play tally on December 11
vs. Manchester. McDonagh has posted a plus or even rating in 20 of his last 24
games, registering a plus-nine rating over the span. The former first round
pick made his professional debut on October 9 vs. Charlotte, and registered his
first career point with an assist on November 7 vs. Bridgeport.
Last season, the 6-1, 213-pounder established collegiate career-highs in games
played (43), assists (14), points (18), and penalty minutes (73) while skating
with the NCAA runner-up University of Wisconsin Badgers. He also ranked second
on the team with a plus-22 rating. McDonagh registered an assist on the
game-winning goal in the National Semifinal game vs. R.I.T. on April 8, 2010 to
help Wisconsin advance to the National Championship game vs. Boston College. In
three seasons with the Badgers, he registered 14 goals and 32 assists for 46
points, along with 174 penalty minutes in 119 career games.
The St. Paul, Minnesota native was originally Montreal’s first round choice,
12th overall, in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft. He was acquired by the Rangers,
along with forward Christopher Higgins and defenseman Pavel Valentenko, from
Montreal in exchange for forwards Scott Gomez and Tom Pyatt, and defenseman
Mike Busto on June 30, 2009.
Del Zotto, 20, has registered two goals and seven assists, along with 14
penalty minutes in 35 games this season. Five of his nine points have been
recorded on the power play. He made his 100th career NHL appearance on November
19 at Colorado.
Ontario native was originally the Rangers’ first round choice, 20th overall, in
the 2008 NHL Entry Draft.
practice schedule for tomorrow, January 4, is 11:00 a.m. at the MSG Training