New York Rangers President and General Manager Glen Sather announced today that the club has acquired the rights to unsigned draft choice R.J. Umberger and defenseman Martin Grenier (right) from the Vancouver Canucks in exchange for left wing Martin Rucinsky.
Umberger, 21, was Vancouver’s first round selection, 16th overall in the 2001 NHL Entry Draft after playing three seasons from 2000-2003 with the Ohio State Buckeyes of the Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA). In 112 career matches with the Buckeyes, Umberger registered 58 goals and 71 assists for 129 points, along with 65 penalty minutes. During his time at Ohio State, Umberger garnered sevela honors, including being selected the CCHA’s Rookie of the Year in 2001 and being selected to the 2001 CCHA All-Rookie Team. He was also named to the 2003 CCHA First All-Star Team and the 2003 NCAA Second All-American Team.
Grenier, 23, has skated in seven matches with Vancouver this season, registering one goal, along with nine penalty minutes. He tallied his first NHL goal on February 3 vs. the New York Islanders. He has also appeared in 38 matches with the Manitoba Moose of the American Hockey League (AHL), registering five goals and four assists for nine points, along with 145 penalty minutes. He currently ranks first on Manitoba with 145 penalty minutes and a plus-6 rating.
A native of Laval, Quebec, Grenier has appeared in 15 career matches with Vancouver and the Phoenix Coyotes, registering one goal, along with 14 penalty minutes. He has also skated in 180 career AHL matches with Manitoba and the Springfield Falcons, registering nine goals and 20 assists for 29 points, along with 618 penalty minutes.
Before turning professional, Grenier spent four seasons (1997-2001) with the Quebec Remparts and the Victoriaville Tigres of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL). The 6-5, 245-pound winger was originally the Colorado Avalanche’s second round choice, 45th overall, in the 1999 NHL Entry Draft.
Rucinsky, 32, has appeared in 69 matches with New York this season, registering 13 goals and 29 assists for 42 points, along with 62 penalty minutes.