New York Rangers General Manager Jeff Gorton announced today that the team has agreed to terms with free agent defenseman Michael Paliotta.
Paliotta, 23, skated in 68 games with the Lake Erie Monsters of the American Hockey League (AHL) this past season, registering eight goals and 15 assists for 23 points, along with a plus-four rating and 29 penalty minutes. He tied for first among Lake Erie defensemen in goals and ranked second among Lake Erie defensemen in points in 2015-16. Paliotta tallied his first career AHL assist/point while making his AHL debut on October 9, 2015 at Rochester. In addition, he posted a plus-seven rating in eight playoff games while helping the Monsters win the Calder Cup.
The 6-4, 212-pounder has skated in two career NHL games, registering one assist and four penalty minutes. Paliotta tallied his first career NHL assist/point while making his NHL debut with Chicago on April 11, 2015 at Colorado. He skated in one game with Columbus during the 2015-16 season, registering two shots on goal on February 27, 2016 vs. Florida.
Prior to beginning his professional career, Paliotta played four seasons of collegiate hockey (2011-12 - 2014-15) at the University of Vermont. He skated in 144 games during his four seasons with the Catamounts, registering 19 goals and 64 assists for 83 points. Paliotta was named to the NCAA (East) Second All-American Team and was selected as the Hockey East Best Defensive Defenseman during his senior year in 2014-15, as he led the University of Vermont - and established collegiate career-highs - in assists (27), points (36), and plus/minus rating (plus-15).
Internationally, the Westport, Connecticut, native has represented the United States in several tournaments. Paliotta tallied one assist in six games while helping the United States win a gold medal at the 2011 IIHF U18 World Championship. He also recorded two assists in six contests while helping the United States earn a gold medal at the 2010 World U17 Hockey Challenge.
Paliotta was selected by Chicago in the third round, 70th overall, of the 2011 NHL Entry Draft.