There was no big news on the trade deadline front with the only headline so far this Sunday that defenseman Robert Hagg is headed from Buffalo to the Panthers. The New York Rangers made a minor roster move Saturday, signing undrafted collegiate defenseman Brandon Scanlin to an Entry Level Contract. Scanlin just finished his third year at the University of Nebraska Omaha. The Mavericks were just eliminated in the first round of the National Collegiate Hockey Conference (NCHC) playoffs, losing in two games to Western Michigan.
Brandon Scanlin is a big boy, at 6’4″, 214 pounds. A native of Hamilton, Ontario, he will turn 23 in June. He opted to go the NCAA route after being drafted by the Hamilton Bulldogs of the OHL.
In his three years with Nebraska, he was a solid defenseman with his best offensive numbers this season, scoring six goals and adding 31 assists. He was named to the NCHC All-Rookie team in 2019-20 and was an Honorable Mention All-Star in 2020-21.
He was the top scorering defenseman for the Mavericks who finished in sixth place in the eight team NCHC.
Scanlin signed a two-year deal for the maximum $925k with a minor league salary of $80k. He’s not the kind of prospect anyone is drooling over, but he adds depth to an already impressive prospect pipeline that is lacking size.
Look for more collegiate free agents to be signed in the coming weeks as the NCAA playoffs continue and teams are eliminated. The Rangers’ most successful recent signee was Neal Pionk, out of Minnesota-Duluth while Vinni Lettieri (U. of Minnesota) has also found a career in the NHL.
They haven’t been so lucky with players like Vince Pedrie and Patrick Newell who didn’t pan out, while other players like Justin Richards, Austin Rueschhoff, Patrick Khodorenko and Jake Elmer are still in the organization, but are not showing much promise.