Originally drafted by the Los Angeles Kings after his freshman year of college in 2002-03, Matt Zaba went on to play three more seasons at Colorado College.
New York Rangers President and General Manager Glen Sather announced today that the club has agreed to terms on a professional contract with goaltender Matt Zaba.
Zaba, 24, appeared in 33 games with the Colorado College Tigers of the Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) this past season, posting a 15-13-4 record, along with a 2.39 goals against average and a .917 save percentage. His .917 save percentage tied for sixth in the WCHA. He started 33 of CC's 39 games, and at season's end, the senior was named winner of the Thayer Tutt Award as team MVP. He recorded two regular season shutouts and posted a three-game winning streak from Nov. 3 through Nov. 17.
In three WCHA first round post-season contests, Zaba registered a 1-2 record, along with a 1.00 goals against average and a .963 save percentage. In Game Two on Mar. 10 vs. Michigan Tech, he made 29 saves for his 10th career shutout, as the Tigers skated to a 2-0 victory and evened their first-round WCHA playoff series at one game apiece. Despite falling to Michigan Tech in the series, Zaba was named the Tigers' playoff MVP. In addition, he was selected to the All-WCHA Academic Team for the third consecutive season.
The 6-1, 185-pound goaltender appeared in 110 career games with the Tigers, posting a 55-42-10 record, along with a 2.42 goals against average. In 2005-06, Zaba was named the Tigers' playoff MVP after leading his team to the opening round of the NCAA playoffs. He posted a 20-14-2 record that season, along with a 2.52 goals against average and a .909 save percentage in 36 games.
As a freshman in 2003-04, Zaba turned in a 10-10-2 record, along with a personal-best 2.27 goals against average and was selected to the WCHA All-Rookie Team. He was named National Rookie of the Month after posting a 3-0-2 record, along with a 1.35 goals-against average and a .941 save percentage in five starts in November 2003.
The Yorkton, Saskatchewan native was originally an eighth round selection of the Los Angeles Kings, 231st overall, in the 2003 NHL Entry Draft.