The New York Rangers have stayed active during the recent pause in the NHL season by signing two NCAA players. The Rangers recently announced that the team has agreed to terms with free-agent forward Austin Rueschhoff on an entry-level contract. His contract begins at the start of the 2020-21 season. Earlier in the week, the Rangers revealed that they agreed to terms with defenseman K’Andre Miller on an entry-level contract. Miller was the Ranger’s first-round pick in the 2018 draft.
Rueschoff brings some size to the New York Rangers
The forward stands at 6-7 and 230 pounds. Imagine some scrums in front of the net with such NHL stalwarts as the Boston Bruin’s Zdeno Charo. But Rueschoff is not just a big body.
Over the three seasons he played at Western Michigan, Rueschhoff was one of 10 collegiate players who registered at least 35 goals, 35 assists, and 100 penalty minutes. He established collegiate career-highs in plus/minus rating and shots on goal, and he tied collegiate career-highs in games played and assists in 2019-20.
His Western Michigan coach had a great deal of praise for the 22-year-old. “Austin’s improvement here at Western Michigan was impressive,” said WMU head coach Andy Murray. “A quality young man, his compete level got higher each year and an increased focus on the details have led him to this NHL opportunity with the Rangers. We are excited for him and know he has a huge upside.
Miller leaves Wisconsin to join the New York Rangers
The 20-year-old defenseman scored 40 points in 62 NCAA appearances, including 18 points in 36 games this season for the Wisconsin Badgers. Internationally, Miller has represented the United States in several tournaments.
Miller played in the IIHF World Junior Championship in each of the last two years, helping the United States earn a silver medal in the tournament in 2019 and served as one of the team’s alternate captains in 2020. He also helped the United States earn a silver medal at the 2018 IIHF U18 World Championship. The Rangers are very high on the left-handed defenseman’s potential, which was one of the reasons they were comfortable dealing Brady Skjei to Carolina at last month’s trade deadline.