While the Rangers added several free agents from the NCAA, the lone addition from the Canadian Hockey League was Dawson Leedahl, who spent last season with the Regina Pats.
After an offseason trade sent him from Everett to Regina of the Western Hockey League, Leedahl turned in the best season of his junior career with 35 goals and 54 assists for 89 points in 71 games, all of which were career-highs by a wide margin.
In an interview with NYRangers.com following the signing of his entry-level contract in May, Leedahl said the move to the Pats "gave me the freedom to really play my game," which he said focuses on puck possession.
The 21-year-old described himself as a two-way player that takes care of the puck in his own zone before shifting the play to offense.
Leedahl finished third in scoring on a Pats team that held the top spot in the CHL rankings for long stretches of the regular season, and rightfully so. The squad finished 52-12-7-1, good enough for 112 points and the top spot overall in the WHL, nine points ahead of Medicine Hat.
Regina advanced to the WHL Final with just five losses in the first three rounds, but ultimately fell short of the WHL Championship when it was defeated by Seattle in six games.
"I'm really proud of what we got accomplished," said Leedahl, who had 12 goals and 25 points in 23 playoff games. "You take away how much it sucks to lose when you're that close. It's good experience to win in the playoffs for the future."
Like Leedahl himself, Rangers Assistant General Manager Chris Drury said the Saskatoon, Saskatchewan-native's game "really started to pop" following the move to Regina.
"This is a guy that our staff targeted for everything he does," Drury said. "He plays hard, he competes and has a little bit of an edge" to his game that Drury feels will transition well to the pros.
The 6-foot-1, 195-pound Leedahl - who will turn pro next season - said his goal at prospect camp later this month is to "show [management] what I can do for the team."