Rangers Sign Forward Rick Kozak to a Professional Contract
/ New York Rangers
New York Rangers President and General Manager Glen Sather announced today that the club has signed forward Rick Kozak to a professional contract.
Kozak, 20, skated in 51 games with the Prince Albert Raiders and the Kamloops Blazers of the Western Hockey League (WHL) last season, registering 14 goals and 13 assists for 27 points, along with 185 penalty minutes. His 185 penalty minutes ranked first on the Raiders. He also appeared in 17 post-season contests with Prince Albert, leading the club with 6 goals and 58 penalty minutes.
"Rick is an aggressive, gritty player who is very difficult to play against", said Sather in making the announcement. "He showed great improvement throughout the season and played very well for Prince Albert in the playoffs. His combination of size, toughness and skill make him an excellent prospect for our organization."
A native of Norway House, Manitoba, Kozak has appeared in 152 carrer Western Hockey League (WHL) games, recording 37 goals and 28 assists for 65 points, along with 447 penalty minutes.
The 6-2, 215-pound forward was originally drafted by the Philadelphia Flyers, 95th overall, in the 2003 NHL Entry Draft. He was acquired by the Rangers on March 8, 2004 from Philadelphia, along with a 2005 second round draft choice, in exchange for Vladimir Malakhov