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Crawley Shares Draft Excitement with Father

New Jersey native on joining organization

by Matt Calamia @MattCalamia /

If Brandon Crawley was the happiest of anyone when he got the news he'd been drafted by the Rangers Saturday in Chicago, his dad was the second happiest and not just because it's his son.

The Glen Rock, N.J.-native said his father, Paul, grew up a Rangers fans and was ecstatic when he heard his son had joined the organization.

"My dad was really excited," Crawley told Tuesday at development camp. "He called me up and went 'Let's go Rangers baby!' He was pretty excited."

The 20-year-old, who plays for the London Knights of the Ontario Hockey League, said it was special to be taken by a team from the tristate area, allowing him to someday play in front of family and friends.

"It's really special," he said. "Just about everyone I know is a Rangers fan, so it was really exciting for me and my family and friends. It's an honor to be part of this organization. Growing up around here, you realize how special it is to be a Ranger."

Crawley, whom the Rangers took in the fourth round (123rd overall), stands 6-foot-1 and weighs 205 pounds. He said he's more of a stay at home defenseman but has some offensive upside as well.

"I'm more of a defensive defenseman. Blocking shots and taking care of my D-zone," Crawley stated. "At times I can produce offense from the blueline. Not going to be in the rush as much, but more just taking care of my d-zone and making a good first pass."

The three-year OHL veteran posted career-highs last year with seven goals and 20 assists for 27 points in 61 contests. He added four assists in 14 postseason games. He said there's untapped offensive potential that he has to continue to develop moving forward, though he won't sacrifice defense to achieve that.

"I think [offensive is] something I have that just has to be developed and added to my game," Crawley said. "For me, defense is first. That's what I want to take care of."

Once prospect camp wraps up on Friday, it's back to training for Crawley as he prepares for main camp this fall.

"Just continue to train," he said. "I've been training for five weeks now. Just continue to ramp it up and then come to camp ready to go and be as prepared as I can be."

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