The New York Rangers have signed prospect Anthony Duclair to an entry-level contract, the team has announced.
#NYR have agreed to terms with forward Anthony Duclair to an entry level contract.
— New York Rangers (@NYRangers) January 2, 2014
Duclair, 18, was selected 80th overall in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft and has 57 points in 37 games so far in the QMJHL.
It's a timely move for both the Rangers and Duclair. Duclair was recently named First Star of the Week and Second Star for the month of December in the QMJHL. I've done a number of updates on Duclair, so feel free to type his name into the search bar and see what I've said about him over the last few months. Aside from the point production, it is how Duclair is earning these points that makes me a fan of his. He shows a great arsenal of speed, hand-eye coordination, and shooting ability. He is very confident with the puck on his stick and is able to create offense out of nothing and often by himself. He has also developed into a very reliable defensive player.
Duclair will finish the season with the Quebec Remparts and unless he makes the Rangers out of training camp next season he'll be required to play one more season in juniors. In essence, this is mostly a formality. His contract won't count against the 50 player limit and his UFA clock won't start as long as he remains in the CHL. Nonetheless, it's indicative of the fact that Duclair has shown Rangers scouts enough to make them believe that he's ready for the next level.
Here are a couple of videos I put together which show off a bit of his ability.
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