The Rangers will soon announce the signing of undrafted London Knights defenseman Tommy Hughes, according to London Free Press reporter Ryan Pyette.
Pyette quotes London Knights Assistant GM Rob Simpson:
"Tommy’s style fits with what the Rangers like to look for… He’s that Dan Girardi-type of big, hard-working, shot-blocking D-man who can take care of his own end and it’s a great opportunity for him.”
The similarities between the two go beyond playing style. Dan Girardi was also playing for the London Knights when the Rangers signed him as an undrafted free agent in 2005.
With a career high of 16 points this season and only three total goals in his OHL career, the offensive upside is very, very limited for Hughes. But he's a stay-at-home kind of defenseman who has good size and is willing to play physically and drop the gloves. Ultimately, his upside is probably as a bottom-pairing defenseman in the mold of a John Erskine or Deryk Engelland, which wouldn't be bad at all for someone picked up for free.
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