New York Rangers President and General Manager Glen Sather announced today that the club has agreed to terms with defenseman Joel Bouchard
. Terms of the contract were not disclosed.
Bouchard, 28, spent most of last season with the New Jersey Devils minor league affiliate, the Albany River Rats of the American Hockey League (AHL). In 70 matches with Albany, Bouchard registered nine goals and 22 assists for 31 points, along with 28 penalty minutes. His 31 points ranked fourth on the club overall and he ranked first among team defensemen in all major offensive categories. In addition, he appeared in one match with New Jersey on January 26 at Minnesota, registering one assist in the contest.
In 277 career NHL matches with New Jersey, the Calgary Flames, Nashville Predators, Dallas Stars and Phoenix Coyotes, he has recorded 15 goals and 30 assists for 45 points, along with 217 penalty minutes. He enjoyed his finest NHL season with Nashville in 1998-99, registering four goals and 11 assists for 15 points in 64 matches, along with 60 penalty minutes. He established career-highs in assists (11), points (15) and penalty minutes (60).
A native of Montreal, Quebec, Bouchard has skated in 244 career AHL matches with Albany and the Saint John Flames, registering 25 goals and 73 assists for 98 points, along with 201 penalty minutes. He also appeared in 19 matches with the Grand Rapids Griffins of the now-defunct International Hockey League (IHL) during the 2000-01 campaign.
The 6-0, 180-pounder was originally drafted in the sixth round, 129th overall, by the Calgary Flames in the 1992 NHL Entry Draft.