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Rangers Sign Five Players

by New York Rangers @NYRangers / NYRangers.com

New York Rangers General Manager Jeff Gorton announced today that the team has agreed to terms with restricted free agent defenseman John Gilmour on a one-year contract. In addition, restricted free agents Chris Bigras, Steven Fogarty, Boo Nieves, and Rob O'Gara all accepted their qualifying offers.

Gilmour, 25, skated in 28 NHL games with the Rangers this past season, registering two goals and three assists for five points, along with 14 penalty minutes. He ranked fourth on the Rangers - and led team defensemen - in shots on goal from the time he was recalled from Hartford (AHL) on February 9 until the end of the 2017-18 season (61). Gilmour made his NHL debut on February 9, 2018 vs. Calgary, and he recorded his first career NHL goal/point on February 13, 2018 at Minnesota. He tallied the game-winning goal in overtime on February 28, 2018 at Vancouver, becoming the first Rangers rookie defenseman to tally an overtime goal in franchise history.

The 6-0, 195-pounder skated in 44 games with the Hartford Wolf Pack of the American Hockey League (AHL) in 2017-18 prior to being recalled by the Rangers, registering six goals and 20 assists for 26 points, along with 22 penalty minutes. He was tied for seventh among AHL defensemen in assists and points in 2017-18 at the time he was recalled by the Blueshirts, and he also led Wolf Pack defensemen in both categories. Gilmour participated in the 2018 AHL All-Star Classic, and he won the Fastest Skater title during the AHL All-Star Skills Competition on January 28, 2018 with a time of 13.663 seconds, which is the fourth-fastest time in the event's history.

Gilmour has skated in 120 career AHL games over two seasons with Hartford (2016-17 and 2017-18), registering 12 goals and 39 assists for 51 points, along with 40 penalty minutes. Gilmour recorded 25 points (six goals, 19 assists) in his rookie season in the AHL in 2016-17, and he ranked 11th among AHL rookie defensemen in points. Prior to beginning his professional career, Gilmour played four seasons of collegiate hockey at Providence College (2012-13 - 2015-16), and he helped Providence win the National Championship in 2014-15.

The Montreal, Quebec native was signed by the Rangers as a free agent on August 18, 2016. Gilmour was originally selected by Calgary in the seventh round, 198th overall, of the 2013 NHL Entry Draft.

Bigras, 23, skated in 38 games in the American Hockey League (AHL) this season with the San Antonio Rampage and the Hartford Wolf Pack, registering three goals and 16 assists for 19 points, along with 22 penalty minutes. He established an AHL career-high in assists and tied his AHL career-high in points in 2017-18. In addition, Bigras tallied 13 points (two goals, 11 assists) in 18 contests after joining the Wolf Pack. He notched seven points (one goal, six assists) over the final six games of the season, and he posted a multi-assist/point game in each of the final two contests on Apr. 13 vs. Binghamton and Apr. 14 at Binghamton.

The 6-1, 190-pounder has skated in 127 career AHL games over parts of four seasons (2014-15 - 2017-18), registering 14 goals and 47 assists for 61 points, along with 67 penalty minutes. Bigras has averaged 0.48 points per game thus far in his AHL career, and he has also averaged at least 0.50 points per game in two of the three seasons in which he has played at least 30 games.

Bigras has also skated in 46 career NHL games over parts of two seasons (2015-16; 2017-18), both with Colorado, registering one goal and three assists for four points, along with 18 penalty minutes. He posted a plus-one rating while making his NHL debut on January 14, 2016 vs. New Jersey, and he registered his first career NHL assist/point while skating in his second career NHL game on January 16, 2016 at Columbus. Bigras also recorded his first career NHL goal March 1, 2016 at Minnesota.

Prior to beginning his professional career, Bigras played four seasons of junior hockey with the Owen Sound Attack of the Ontario Hockey League (OHL). He was selected to the OHL's First All-Star Team during his final season with Owen Sound in 2014-15. In addition, Bigras has represented Canada in several international tournaments, and he won a gold medal at the 2013 IIHF U18 World Championship and at the 2012 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament.

The Orillia, Ontario native was acquired by the Rangers from Colorado in exchange for Ryan Graves on February 26, 2018. Bigras was originally selected by the Avalanche in the second round, 32nd overall, of the 2013 NHL Entry Draft.

Fogarty, 25, skated in 63 games with the Hartford Wolf Pack of the American Hockey League (AHL) this past season, registering nine goals and 11 assists for 20 points, along with 22 penalty minutes. He established AHL career-highs in goals, shorthanded goals (two), game-winning goals (two), and shots on goal (94), and tied his AHL career-high in points in 2017-18. Fogarty led the Wolf Pack in shorthanded goals, tied for third on the team in game-winning goals, and tied for fifth on the team in power play assists (six) this past season. In addition, Fogarty skated in one NHL game with the Rangers in 2017-18, as he made his NHL/Rangers debut on April 7, 2018 at Philadelphia.

The 6-3, 209-pounder has skated in 132 career AHL games over parts of three seasons (2015-16 - 2017-18), all with the Wolf Pack, registering 16 goals and 25 assists for 41 points, along with 43 penalty minutes. Fogarty established AHL career-highs in games played (66), assists (13), and points (20) during his rookie season in the AHL in 2016-17, as he led Hartford rookies in goals (seven) and ranked second among Hartford rookies in points during the season. Fogarty joined the Wolf Pack for three games in 2015-16 following the conclusion of his collegiate season, and he tallied his first career AHL assist/point while making his AHL debut on April 1, 2016 vs. Hershey.

Prior to beginning his professional career, Fogarty played four seasons of collegiate hockey with the University of Notre Dame (2012-13 - 2015-16). He served as Notre Dame's captain in each of his final two seasons, and he also helped Notre Dame win the CCHA Championship during his freshman year in 2012-13. Fogarty established collegiate career-highs in goals (10), assists (13), and points (23) during his senior year in 2015-16.

The Chambersburg, Pennsylvania native was selected by the Rangers in the third round, 72nd overall, of the 2011 NHL Entry Draft.

Nieves, 24, split this past season between the Rangers and the Hartford Wolf Pack of the American Hockey League (AHL). He skated in 28 games with the Blueshirts in 2017-18, registering one goal and eight assists for nine points, along with a plus-six rating and 12 penalty minutes. Nieves ranked fourth on the Rangers - and ranked second among team forwards - in plus/minus rating this past season, and he posted a plus/minus rating of even or better in 24 of the 28 games he played. In addition, Nieves was not on the ice for a goal against in each of the first 13 games he played in 2017-18 (October 26, 2017 vs. Arizona - December 5, 2017 at Pittsburgh). Nieves registered three assists/points, including his first career NHL assist/point, and posted a plus-three rating while skating in his second career NHL game and making his 2017-18 NHL season debut on October 26, 2017 vs. Arizona. He became the first Ranger to post a three-point game in one of his first two career NHL contests since Derek Stepan on October 9, 2010 and the first Ranger to post a three-assist game in one of his first two career NHL games since Dominic Moore on November 1, 2003. Nieves tallied his first career NHL goal and posted a plus-two rating on December 5, 2017 at Pittsburgh.

6-3, 212-pounder also skated in 40 AHL games with the Wolf Pack in 2017-18, registering eight goals and 13 assists for 21 points, along with 12 penalty minutes. Nieves established AHL career-highs in goals, assists, points, and power play goals (six), and tied AHL career-highs in games played and game-winning goals (two) during the past season. He ranked third on the Wolf Pack in power play goals and tied for third on the team in game-winning goals in 2017-18.

Nieves has skated in 88 career AHL games over parts of three seasons (2015-16 - 2017-18), all with the Wolf Pack, registering 16 goals and 28 assists for 44 points, along with 22 penalty minutes. He joined the Wolf Pack following the conclusion of his collegiate season in 2015-16, and he notched a point in each of his first four career AHL games while finishing the 2015-16 season in Hartford. Nieves tallied 18 points (six goals, 12 assists) in 40 games with Hartford during his rookie season in the AHL in 2016-17, and he led Wolf Pack rookies (min. 10 games played) in points per game during the season (0.45). In addition, Nieves skated in one NHL game prior to the 2017-18 season, as he made his NHL debut with the Rangers on November 15, 2016 at Vancouver.

The Syracuse, New York native was selected by the Rangers in the second round, 59th overall, of the 2012 NHL Entry Draft.

O'Gara, 25, skated in 30 NHL games with the Rangers and Boston Bruins this past season, registering three assists and six penalty minutes. He recorded three assists in 22 games with the Blueshirts after he was acquired from Boston, and he tied for third on the Rangers in blocked shots per game in 2017-18 (1.5). O'Gara made his Rangers debut on February 22, 2018 at Montreal, and he notched his first career NHL assist/point on March 8, 2018 at Tampa Bay. Prior to 2017-18, O'Gara skated in three NHL games with the Bruins during the 2016-17 season.

The 6-4, 215-pounder also skated in 43 AHL games this past season with Providence, registering two goals and six assists for eight points, along with a plus-five rating and 16 penalty minutes. O'Gara was tied for second among Providence defensemen in goals, ranked third among Providence defensemen in plus/minus rating, and was tied for third among Providence defensemen in points in 2017-18 at the time he was acquired by the Rangers. He has skated in 107 career AHL games over parts of three seasons (2015-16 - 2017-18), registering seven goals and 15 assists for 22 points, along with a plus-18 rating and 50 penalty minutes. O'Gara recorded 13 points (four goals, nine assists) and a plus-11 rating in 59 games during his first full AHL season in 2016-17, and he tied for 10th among AHL rookie defensemen in plus/minus rating during the season.

Prior to beginning his professional career, O'Gara played four seasons of collegiate hockey at Yale University (2012-13 - 2015-16), and he earned more honors than any other defenseman in Yale's history during his tenure. He skated in 133 career collegiate games over his four seasons at the school, registering 14 goals and 37 assists for 51 points, along with a plus-29 rating and 134 penalty minutes. O'Gara helped Yale win the National Championship in his freshman year in 2012-13, and he was selected to the NCAA (East) First All-American Team in 2014-15, as well as the NCAA (East) Second All-American Team in 2015-16. In addition, he was named to the ECAC First All-Star Team, the All-Ivy League First All-Star Team, and the All-New England First All-Star Team in both 2014-15 and 2015-16, and he was also selected as the ECAC's Best Defensive Defenseman in 2014-15 and 2015-16. O'Gara is the only defenseman in Yale history who is a three-time recipient of the John Poinier Award as the team's Best Defenseman.

The Massapequa, New York native was acquired by the Rangers from Boston, along with a third-round pick in the 2018 NHL Entry Draft, in exchange for Nick Holden on February 20, 2018. O'Gara was originally selected by Boston in the fifth round, 151st overall, of the 2011 NHL Entry Draft.

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