New York Rangers President and General Manager Glen Sather announced today that the club has signed defenseman Jake Taylor to a professional contract. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Taylor, 21, appeared in 39 games for the University of Minnesota Golden Gophers of the Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) last season, registering two goals and six assists for eight points. He ranked third on the team in penalty minutes with 68. Taylor was one of five freshmen who played regularly for the Gophers, ranking third among first-year skaters with 39 games.
"Jake Taylor is another of our organization's core of young talent," stated Sather. "He is a defenseman who combines size and skill effectively to make him an impact player at both ends of the ice. Jake's development has shown significant gains over the last two seasons and we feel he is ready to take the next step in his career."
Prior to attending the University of Minnesota, the 6-4, 220-pound defenseman skated in 121 games for the Green Bay Gamblers of the United States Hockey League (USHL), registering nine goals and 10 assists for 19 points, along with 315 penalty minutes. In 2002-2003, Taylor served as captain for the Gamblers and finished fifth in the league with 160 penalty minutes. He was also the recipient of the 2003 Curt Hammer Award, presented to the USHL player who best reflects the goals of the USHL, his team and his organization.
The Rochester, Minnesota native was the Rangers fifth selection, 177th overall, in the 2002 NHL Entry Draft.