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Rangers Beat Maple Leafs, Islanders to Best American Hockey Player

Martin AverySenior Writer IApril 18, 2009

WASHINGTON - APRIL 11:  Nick Bonino #13 and Matt Gilroy #97 of the Boston Terriers celebrate with the national championship trophy after the NCAA Men's Frozen Four Championship game on April 11, 2009 at the Verizon Center in Washington, DC. Boston defeated Miami 4-3 in overtime to win the national title.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

The New York Rangers beat the Toronto Maple Leafs and the New York Islanders to the winner of the Hobey Baker Award and captain of the Boston University Terriers—Matt Gilroy.

He may join the AHL Hartford Wolf Pack this season.

The Toronto Maple Leafs have made news by signing NCAA players recently and they were after Matt Gilroy, too, but the New York Rangers landed him.

The New York Islanders wanted Gilroy—as he is a Long Island boy—but their cross-town rivals beat them to the punch.

Like Rangers' captain Chris Drury, Gilroy played for Boston University and won the Hobey Baker Award. Gilroy was captain of the Hockey East regular season and playoff champion Boston University Terriers.

Gilroy, 24, captured the Hobey Baker Award, given to the top player in collegiate hockey and was named as a First Team All-American on April 10.

He led the Terriers to their fifth NCAA championship, assisting on the game-tying goal with 17 seconds remaining in regulation in the championship game on April 11, after entering the tournament as the No. 1 seeded team. 

The senior defenseman established career-highs in games played (45), assists (29) and points (37). In addition, the North Bellmore, Long Island, N.Y. native led all Hockey East defensemen in scoring and ranked third among all defensemen in the nation.

The 6’2”, 205 lb. skated in 160 career Hockey East games with the Boston University Terriers, recording 25 goals and 67 assists for 92-points, and with 46 penalty minutes

Chris Drury made a phonecall to Gilroy during the season, apparently, to help him make up his mind about where he wanted to play.

Gilroy will not join the Rangers this year but their affiliate team, the Hartford Wolf Pack, might have a place for him.

The Wolf Pack got off to fast start in the AHL playoffs. The Division champions shut out Worcester at home in Game 1.

The Rangers' AHL affiliate got their Calder Cup playoff run off to a great start with a, 2-0, shutout victory over the visiting Worcester Sharks.

Goaltender Matt Zaba, who signed with the Rangers as an undrafted free agent out of college two years ago, starred in net for the Pack, making 38 saves for his first AHL playoff shutout.

Rangers 2006 second-round draft pick Artem Anisimov, the Pack's leading scorer with 81-points this season, got the game-winning goal.

Anisimov's goal was assisted by 2008 Rangers draft pick Dale Weise and defenseman Corey Potter, who had several NHL stints with the Rangers this season.

The Wolf Pack had a stribg regular season finish, winning the Atlantic Division title by five points over the Providence Bruins with a record of, 46-27-3.

Hartford is one of the league’s youngest teams and features several players who have promising NHL careers ahead of them.

Bob Sanguinetti also had a big season leading all Hartford defensemen with six goals and 42-points.

Other key future Rangers on the Hartford roster includes draftees Brodie Dupont, Greg Moore, Tommy Pyatt, Corey Potter, Dale Weise and Michael Sauer.

As the Pack continue in their playoff run, they will be joined by various players coming from the junior ranks including the OHL rookie of the year from the Brampton Battalion, Evgeny Grachev.

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