Sunday, July 4, 2010

McDonagh Set To Sign With Rangers

What little hope Badger fans still had that Ryan McDonagh would don a Wisconsin uniform for the 2010-2011 season is now gone. New York Post Rangers beat writer Larry Brooks is reporting that McDonagh and his advisers will enter into contract negotiations with the Rangers this week.

The 21 year old defenseman becomes the fourth player off last seasons Frozen Four team to turn pro early. Seniors to be Cody Goloubef and Brendan Smith got the ball rolling by signing early with Columbus and Detroit respectively. Junior to be Derek Stepan continued the trend signing with the New York Rangers. McDonagh is expected to be the last departure this offseason.

According to the article by Larry Brooks, McDonagh is expected to sign for the rookie max of $875,000. He'll receive a signing bonus of $87,500 for each of the next three seasons.

The Post has been told that McDonagh, who had been undecided between turning pro and returning to Madison for his senior season, was won over by the environment at last week's Rangers' prospect camp during which he mixed with fellow hopefuls and the team's front-office personnel, notably general manager Glen Sather, coach John Tortorella and special assistants Mark Messier and Adam Graves.

Wisconsin is well prepared to handle the losses defensively. Last season the team carried an extra defenseman and red-shirted Fond du Lac native Ryan Little. This season they recruited two defensemen, USA NTDP U18 defenseman Frankie Simonelli and Sioux City (USHL) defenseman Chase Drake to help cover for potential losses. Wisconsin will roster 8 defensemen for the 2010-2011 season, a standard number.

2010-2011 Wisconsin Defense

Craig Johnson

Jake Gardiner
Eric Springer

Ryan Little (Red-shirt)
Justin Schultz
John Ramage

Chase Drake
Frankie Simonelli

Photo by Melody Hasse