UPDATE No. 2: Rangers sign RPI's Ryan Haggerty
RPI's Ryan Haggerty has parlayed his outstanding season into a NHL deal.
The junior forward has signed a free-agent contract with the New York Rangers, the team announced Wednesday. Haggerty led the Engineers in scoring with 28 goals and 15 assists in 35 games.
Haggerty will be playing for the organization he rooted for while growing up in Stamford, Conn.
"The Rangers were my idols of [Mark] Messier and [Adam] Graves, Theo Fleury and when [Jaromir] Jagr was here,” Haggerty said. "It’s incredible. I’ve always been a huge fan of the Rangers. Growing and watching them, it’s pretty surreal [to sign with them]. It’s hard to even imagine that dreams come true, but I’m looking forward to the future, too."
It was a good situation to take advantage of and what I did this year in college hockey. It impacted with a lot of [NHL] teams. It was time to take the next step of my career. I’m really looking forward to it. I can’t thank enough everyone at RPI and the coaches and everyone I played with there."
RPI's season ended Sunday when it was eliminated by Dartmouth in Game 3 of the ECAC Hockey tournament first-round series.
"It's not a surprise," RPI coach Seth Appert said. "He's handled this is in a real first-class manner. We've had good discussions. ... With the season he's had and the number of teams heavily in pursuit of him, it seemed like the right time and the right opportunity for him."
Coming into the season, Haggerty had 19 goals and 22 assists in first two years. Haggerty came to RPI from the U.S. National Development Team.
"I'm very proud of Ryan for how much he's improved in his three years," Appert said. "It's what you strive for in your players. But he really made incredible improvements over his three years because he came to the rink every day to try and get better and not just to get through practice or see how practice was going to go. He worked on his game. He put a lot of time into his game. He worked very hard over the summer.
"He played for the most heavily scouted program in the world. No program is more scouted heavily that the U.S. program. He was undrafted. It's a real credit to his work ethic of how much he's improved in the last three years."