The New York Rangers went out and signed their second undrafted college free agent in forward Bobby Trivigno, of U-Mass Amherst. He joines Zac Jones as former Minutemen who were teammates on the team that won the NCAA championship in 2021.
The Minutemen were eliminated in the NCAA tournament by Minnesota who won to advance to the Frozen Four.
Bobby Trivigno is a New York native, born and raised on Long Island in Setauket. He is a left winger who was captain of the Minutemen this season after serving as an alternate on the championship team. Born on January 19, he just turned 23.
He is the younger brother of Dana Trivigno who starred at Boston College and has been played professionally for several years.
Bobby is a left shot forward and is small at 5’8″, 161 pounds. He was the leading scorer on UMass this season with 20 goals and 49 points in 37 games. His offensive numbers have improved steadiliy over the last three seasons.
His 49 points was third most of any NCAA player this season and he was named the Hockey East Player of the Year this season. He joins some distinguished company with that award. The last eight winners were Spencer Knight, Jeremy Swayman, Cale Makar, Adam Gaudette, Zach Aston-Reese, Thatcher Demko, Jack Eichel and Johnny Gaudreau.
He was named the 2021 NCAA Tournament Most Outstanding Player joining players like Karson Kuhlman, Drake Caggiula, Shayne Gostisbehere as recent winners of that award.
Corey Pronman of The Athletic (subscription required) had him rated as a prospect with a good chance to make it to the NHL. Pronman’s description was “He’s a very skilled and competitive forward who doesn’t shy from playing physical despite a quite diminutive frame. He displays good vision and has a decent wrist shot too. His skating for his size will be the major issue at higher levels.”
A great start in Hartford
Trivigno started his pro career with the Wolf Pack on Saturday, playing in Hartford’s 8-5 loss to Syracuse. He registered two assists playing on a line with newly acquired Nick Merkley and Maxim Letunov.
He was reunited with his former teammate Zac Jones.
It will be worth watching how Trivigno does as the Wolf Pack make their push for the playoffs. We won’t see him in New York as he is on an amateur tryout with his contract not kicking in until next season.
Why sign him?
When the Rangers announced the signing, many wondered why the team would be interested in another smaller forward who plays left wing, the most crowded position on the team.
The answer is he fits the mold of the type of player the Rangers are trying to develop. After this season’s Hockey East tournament in which he was named MVP for the second straight year, Greg Carval, his UMass coach raved “He’s the most unique kid I’ve ever coached. It’s not even close. He never gets tired. He never gets out willed. Never, never, never. Every single day, he’s the hardest working kid. He has a fire inside him that’s unmatched. Not even close.”
Signed to a two-year Entry Level Contract for $925k per year, he is the kind of player that the team will hope to make the roster, replacing deadline rentals like Tyler Motte. While Motte is a great acquisition, with the salary cap in place, it’s unlikely they will be able to afford him even though he is making only $1.25 million this season.
If Trivigno develops into a player like the Los Angeles Kings’ Blake Lizotte, another undersized NCAA free agent, the team will be very pleased.
Are they done?
Trivigno is the second NCAA free agent they signed after picking up defenseman Brandon Scanlin of the University of Nebraska-Omaha. The Rangers have 49 players under contract with the NHL maximum at 50. However, players that they have under contract still playing in Canadian Juniors don’t count against the maximum and that includes Brennan Othmann, Will Cuylle, Matthew Rempe and Dylan Garand so they still have some flexibility.