McDonagh getting first shot at NHL

Defenseman joins Rangers lineup as Del Zotto is sent to Connecticut

Monday, 01.03.2011 / 4:29 PM / News
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McDonagh getting first shot at NHL
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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.

Defenseman Ryan McDonagh, a college teammate of Derek Stepan's at the University of Wisconsin, saw some preseason action with the Blueshirts before opening the 2010-11 regular season in the AHL.
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.

The Stouffville, Ontario native was originally the Rangers’ first round choice, 20th overall, in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft.