New York Rangers President, General Manager and Head Coach Glen Sather announced today that the club has claimed defenseman Joel Bouchard (right) of the Buffalo Sabres and forwards Sheldon Keefe of the Tampa Bay Lightning and Mike Siklenka of the Philadelphia Flyers in the NHL Waiver Draft.
Bouchard, 29, appeared in 34 matches last season with the Rangers and Pittsburgh Penguins, registering five goals and eight assists for 13 points, along with 14 penalty minutes. He also skated in 22 games with the Hartford Wolf Pack of the American Hockey League (AHL), registering six goals and 14 assists for 20 points, along with 22 penalty minutes. Bouchard was traded by the Rangers to Pittsburgh, along with Richard Lintner, Rico Fata, Mikael Samulesson and future considerations, in exchange for Alex Kovalev, Dan LaCouture, Janne Laukkanen and Mike Wilson on February 10. He had signed with Buffalo as a free agent on July 12, 2003.
In 311 career NHL matches with the Rangers, Calgary Flames, Nashville Predators, Dallas Stars, Phoenix Coyotes, New Jersey Devils and Pittsburgh Penguins, he has registered 20 goals and 38 assists for 58 points, along with 231 penalty minutes. The 6-1, 209-pounder was originally Calgary's seventh choice, 129th overall, in the 1992 NHL Entry Draft.
Keefe, 23, skated in 37 games with Tampa Bay last season, tallying two goals and five assists for seven points, along with 24 penalty minutes. He also appeared in 33 matches with the Springfield Falcons (AHL), collecting 16 goals and 15 assists for 31 points, along with 28 penalty minutes.
In 125 career NHL games with the Lightning, Keefe has registered 12 goals and 12 assists for 24 points, along with 78 penalty minutes. A native of Brampton, Ontario, he was originally Tampa Bay's first choice, 47th overall, in the 1999 NHL Entry Draft.
Siklenka, 23, spent the majority of the 2002-03 season with the Philadelphia Phantoms (AHL), appearing in 64 matches and registering six goals and six assists for 12 points, along with 169 penalty minutes. He skated in just one match with the Flyers, making his NHL debut on January 28, 2003 vs. Tampa Bay. The Meadow Lake, Saskatchewan native was originally Washington's fifth choice, 118th overall, in the 1998 NHL Entry Draft. He signed as a free agent with Philadelphia on January 27, 2002.
In other Waiver Draft news, the Atlanta Thrashers claimed winger Ronald Petrovicky and recently-claimed defenseman Shawn Heins, while forward Jeff Heerema was taken by St. Louis.