New York Rangers General Manager Jeff Gorton announced today that the team has agreed to terms with restricted free agent forward Ryan Spooner on a two-year contract.
Spooner, 26, skated in 59 games with the Rangers and Boston Bruins this past season, registering 13 goals and 28 assists for 41 points, along with a plus-six rating and four penalty minutes. He established career-highs in points per game (0.69), plus/minus rating, and average ice time (15:18), and he also tied his career-high in goals. Spooner was one of two NHL players who registered at least 40 points and was assessed four or fewer penalty minutes in 2017-18 (along with Ryan O'Reilly). Spooner's 0.69 points per game average this past season was the second-most among NHL players who skated in at least 20 games and averaged fewer than 16:00 of ice time per game (Thomas Vanek - 0.70). Spooner tallied 16 points (four goals, 12 assists) in 20 games with the Rangers after he was acquired on February 25, 2018, and he tied for the team lead in assists and points from the time he was acquired until the end of the regular season. He registered seven points (one goal, six assists) in his first three games with the Rangers and posted a multi-point game in all three contests, becoming the first player in franchise history to record six assists in his first three games as a Ranger and post a multi-point game in each of his first three contests as a Ranger.
The 5-10, 187-pounder has skated in 273 career NHL games over parts of six seasons (2012-13 - 2017-18) with the Rangers and Boston, registering 45 goals and 113 assists for 158 points, along with 61 penalty minutes. Among skaters who have appeared in at least 200 games since the start of the 2013-14 season, Spooner is one of three NHL players who have averaged at least 0.50 points per game while also averaging fewer than 15:00 of ice time per game (along with Scott Hartnell and Nino Niederreiter). Over the last three seasons (2015-16 - 2017-18), Spooner is tied for 17th in the NHL (min. 200 games played) in assists per 60 minutes of ice time (1.72). Spooner established career-highs in games played (80), goals (13), assists (36), and points (49) during the 2015-16 season. Thus far in his NHL career, 11 of his 45 career goals have been game-winning goals. Spooner registered 35 power play points over the 2015-16 and 2016-17 seasons (nine power play goals and 26 power play assists) and established career-highs in power play assists (15) and power play points (18) in 2016-17. In addition, he was selected to the AHL's All-Rookie Team in 2012-13, as he led all AHL rookies in assists (40) and points (57) with the Providence Bruins.
The Ottawa, Ontario native was acquired by the Rangers from Boston, along with a first-round pick in the 2018 NHL Entry Draft, Ryan Lindgren, Matt Beleskey, and a seventh-round pick in the 2019 NHL Entry Draft, in exchange for Rick Nash on February 25, 2018. He was originally selected by Boston in the second round, 45th overall, of the 2010 NHL Entry Draft.