The New York Rangers made it official today by signing defenseman Ryan McDonagh.
McDonagh, 21, will join fellow Wisconsin Badger Derek Stepan this upcoming season on an entry-level contract with the Rangers.
McDonagh, a 2007 first-round pick (12th overall) acquired last season from the Montreal Canadiens in the Scott Gomez trade, was conflicted about whether or not to return for his final year at Wisconsin, where he would be team captain.
He ultimately chose the bright lights of the Big Apple over a classroom.
In his final season at Wisconsin, McDonagh, a stay-at-home defenseman, registered four goals and 18 points for the Badgers. He was second on the team with a plus-22 rating. The Badgers lost to Boston College in the National Championship.
McDonagh was a member of the 2009 and 2007 USA National Under-18 teams and competed in the World Junior Championships.
This was expected to happen this week, but is still great news for the organization and the fans. The Rangers are slowly building one of the best young defenses in the NHL and should be dividends for years to come.
Expect a battle for the sixth defenseman spot this training camp, with McDonagh, Wade Redden, and Matt Gilroy all fighting to see their name on the roster.