New York Rangers President and General Manager Glen Sather announced Monday that the club has agreed to terms on a professional contract with the team's first round draft pick from the 2001 NHL Entry Draft, goaltender Dan Blackburn. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Blackburn, 18, appeared in five pre-season matches with New York, posting a 2-1-1 record, along with a 3.49 goals against average and a .913 save percentage. He appeared in 50 games with the Kootenay Ice of the Western Hockey League (WHL) last season, posting a 33-14-2 record, along with a 2.77 goals against average and a .907 save percentage. Blackburn led the WHL in wins with 33, ranked second in the league with a .907 save percentage and third with a 2.77 goals against average. In 11 post-season contests, Blackburn registered a 7-4 record, along with a 1.95 goals against average en route to being named the 2001 WHL Playoff MVP. In addition, he was selected as the WHL Goaltender of the Year and a finalist for the 2001 Canadian Hockey League (CHL) Goaltender of the Year award.
The 6-1, 191-pound goaltender has appeared in 101 career WHL contests with Kootenay, posting a 67-22-9 record, along with a 2.65 goals against average. During the 1999-2000 season, Blackburn was named Rookie of the Year for both the Kootenay Ice and the WHL. He was selected to the CHL All-Rookie Team and was Kootenay's nominee for the WHL's Goaltender of the Year.
The Montreal, Quebec native was the Rangers' first selection, 10th overall, in the 2001 NHL Entry Draft.