21 year old defensive prospect Ryan McDonagh has followed his Wisconsin teammate Derek Stepan and signed with the Rangers today.
“I have so many people to thank,” said McDonagh, when asked how he felt to now be a pro player. “I obviously couldn’t be here today if it weren’t for my parents and all the coaches I had growing up. It’s just a credit to my family and all my coaches who helped me develop as a player to get where I am today.”
Ryan McDonagh was acquired by the New York Rangers last off-season when they dealt Scott Gomez to the Montreal Canadiens in return for Chris Higgins and Ryan McDonagh. McDonagh was considering staying with his college team, the Wisconsin Badgers, for his senior year which would make him eligible to enter the league as an unrestricted free agent. After taking part in the Rangers Development Camp, McDonagh realized he wanted to join the New York Rangers along with fellow Wisconsin team-mate Derek Stepan who signed with the Rangers a few weeks ago.
“Derek and I are great buddies, obviously,” McDonagh said. “We are best of friends. We have been playing together at Wisconsin, and we played against each other growing up. Obviously, he was pretty supportive and everything. I bounced a lot of questions off of him, but he wasn’t really drilling me too much in terms of asking what I was thinking. He kind of just left that for myself, which was good. Obviously to have seen him make the decision is exciting for both of us to be doing this at the same time.”
This is great news for the New York Rangers as they further strengthen their defense for the future. Marc Staal, Dan Girardi, Michael Del Zotto, Matt Gilroy, Michael Sauer, Dylan McIlrath, and now Ryan McDonagh represent a bright future for the New York Rangers rear guard. _X_