New York Rangers General Manager Jeff Gorton announced today that the team has agreed to terms with forward Ryan Gropp on an entry-level contract.
Gropp, 19, has skated in 32 games with the Seattle Thunderbirds of the Western Hockey League (WHL) this season, registering 18 goals and 14 assists for 32 points, along with a plus-five rating and 24 penalty minutes. Gropp leads the Thunderbirds in goals, ranks fourth on the team in points, and ranks fifth on the team in assists in 2015-16. Gropp has recorded a point in eight of the last 12 games, tallying 12 points (five goals, seven assists) over the span. He has also recorded a point in 14 of the last 21 games, including a goal in ten of those contests, tallying 23 points (13 goals, ten assists) during the stretch. In addition, Gropp was a member of Team WHL in the 2015 CHL Canada Russia Series, and he recorded one assist in two games during the tournament.
The 6-2, 190-pounder has skated in 158 career WHL games over three seasons, registering 66 goals and 66 assists for 132 points, along with a plus-nine rating and 90 penalty minutes. Gropp established WHL career-highs in games played (67), goals (30), assists (28), points (58), and plus/minus rating (plus-nine) with Seattle last season. In addition, Gropp has recorded two goals and ten assists for 12 points in 15 career WHL playoff games.
The Kamloops, British Columbia native has also represented Canada in international tournaments in his career. Most recently, Gropp tallied two points (one goal, one assist) and posted a plus-four rating in seven games while helping Canada earn a bronze medal at the 2014 IIHF U18 World Championship.
Gropp was selected by the Rangers in the second round, 41st overall, of the 2015 NHL Entry Draft.