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Rangers Sign Defenseman Marc Staal to a Professional Contract

by Staff Writer / New York Rangers

First Round Pick from the 2005 NHL Entry Draft Agrees to Terms

New York Rangers President and General Manager Glen Sather announced today that the club agreed to terms on a professional contract with defenseman Marc Staal, the team's twelfth overall selection in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft. He is currently one of 38 players remaining on the Rangers 2005 Training Camp roster.

"Marc is big, strong defenseman who has all the characteristics that we are looking for in a Ranger," stated Sather. "We feel his combination of size, skill and hockey sense will project him to be a large part of our hockey team's future success."

Staal, 18, was chosen by the Rangers in the first round after the club moved up in the drafting order by trading its 16th and 41st overall selections in this year's draft to the Atlanta Thrashers, in exchange for the 12th overall selection. He skated in 65 games for the Sudbury Wolves of the Ontario Hockey League (OHL) last season, registering six goals and 20 assists, along with 53 penalty minutes. Staal tied for first among team defensemen with six goals and ranked second among Sudbury blueliners with 26 points. He participated in the 2005 CHL Top Prospects game in Vancouver, where he won the puck control competition. Staal also played in the 2005 OHL All-Star Game in Owen Sound. In the 2005 post-season, he collected four assists and 15 penalty minutes in 12 contests.

The 6-4, 202-pounder has appeared in 126 career contests with Sudbury, collecting seven goals and 33 assists for 40 points, along with 87 penalty minutes. The NHL's Central Scouting report states, "A very good skater with a long stride and moves well laterally ... an aggressive defenseman who is offensively inclined; he likes to join the rush and jump in from the point ... shows patience with the puck ... uses his size well in front and will not back down in confrontations."

The native of Thunder Bay, Ontario was the second overall selection in the 2003 OHL Priority Draft. He is the younger brother of Eric, who was selected second overall by the Carolina Hurricanes in 2003.

Marc Staal's Amateur Record >>
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