While the New York Rangers rest awaiting the start of their upcoming playoff campaign, the front office was busy on Tuesday. The Rangers agreed to terms with Mat Bodie, a 24-year-old defensemen from NCAA champions Union College. Bodie was the captain on Union for two seasons and earned two selections on the ECAC Hockey First Team.
Bodie developed into a solid offensive defensemen in his collegiate career. He led the nation in scoring by a defensemen during the 2013-14 season and tallied 39 points in 40 games. In his four years at Union, Bodie racked up 28 goals and 96 assists for a total of 124 points in 154 college games.
The signing of an offensively gifted defensemen is exciting for a Rangers organization that has bolstered the back end of their team. New York signed Ryan McDonagh to a six-year contract extension last year worth $28.2 million. They followed that up this year by signing Dan Girardi to a six-year extension worth $33 million.
That contract along, with Henrik Lundqvist’s new gigantic deal, are main reasons why the team couldn’t keep former captain Ryan Callahan, but New York seems content with defense.
Bodie showed he could excel under pressure in this year’s NCAA tournament. During Union’s magical playoff run, Bodie scored four goals and three assists in four contests. He contributed a goal and one assist in the NCAA finals against Minnesota.
Of course, the focus of the Rangers currently resides with their first-round Stanley Cup Playoff matchup against the Philadelphia Flyers, but the team has to be happy with the work of their front office to nab Bodie.