On April 21st, the New York Rangers agreed to terms with Russian defenseman Alexei Bereglazov. His contract makes him a great addition to the Rangers’ defensive prospect pool.
The 23-year-old KHL defenseman from Russia could give the New York Rangers much needed help at the blue line one day; whether that day be next season or in seasons to come.
Bereglazov was signed out of the KHL where he played for Metallurg Magnitogorsk. He registered impressive numbers in the KHL that were enough for the New York Rangers make him an offer.
Here is a closer look at all of the details behind Bereglazov and his signing with the Rangers.
Bereglazov played his first game with Metallurg Magnitogorsk during the 2013-2014 season. He had just turned 20 that season and only played six games while registering zero points and a zero plus/minus.
He really exploded this past season with Metallurg Magnitogorsk. Bereglazov registered a goal and 18 assists for 19 points in 60 games. He had a +9 rating to add to the points as well. He upped his game in the playoffs, adding six assists in 13 games.
Bereglazov has grown immensely in a couple of areas in the KHL. His point total went up every year and his plus/minus increased too. His discipline is worth noting also: just 22 penalty minutes in 73 regular season and playoff games this year, which is down from 41 penalty minutes in 80 games last season.
Metallurg Magnitogorsk took home a Gagarin Cup last season, awarded to winner of the KHL playoffs. Bereglazov had two goals and six assists for eight points in the team’s run.
Contract with the Rangers
Bereglazov carries a $925,000 cap hit through 2018-2019. With performance bonuses he has an annual average salary of $1.775 million.
His contract also includes a European Assignment Clause. What that means is that he has the option to return to the KHL if he is assigned to the AHL.
That clause is similar to what Pavel Buchnevich was given. He decided to stay in the United States despite not spending the whole season with the New York Rangers.
This contract is ideal for both the New York Rangers and Bereglazov. The Rangers have the chance to fill a roster spot on the defense if they find Bereglazov is fit for the role. Otherwise, he can grow in the environment he is the most comfortable in.
Next season could go any number of ways for Bereglazov. He could impress management in the offseason and earn himself a spot with the Rangers. It seems like there are an unlimited amount of possibilities for the Rangers defensive core for next season.
Bereglazov could also miss the cut for the Rangers roster and stay in the United States with the Hartford Wolf Pack. If that’s the case, it will be up to him whether he wants to play for Metallurg or Hartford.
The New York Rangers hope that Bereglazov can transfer over to the NHL well. If he turns out to be as good as hoped, the Rangers defense will be in a great place.