While it’s not Kevin Hayes (at least not yet), Wolf Pack general manager Jim Schoenfeld announced on Thursday that the Rangers AHL affiliate has signed veteran forward Ryan Potulny to an AHL contract.
Originally a third-round draft pick (87th overall) by the Philadelphia Flyers in 2003 out of the USHL, Potulny has skated in 126 career NHL games with the Flyers, Edmonton Oilers, Chicago Blackhawks and Ottawa Senators, totaling 22 goals and 27 assists for 49 points, along with 54 penalty minutes.
Potulny’s best NHL season was back in 2009-10, when he had 15 goals and 17 assists in 64 games for Edmonton.
The 29-year old has scored 150 career AHL goals and added 158 assists for 308 points. Potulny led all AHL skaters in playoff points in 2011, and tied for the league lead in goals, with 14-12-26 in 23 games as he led Binghamton to a Calder Cup championship. He’s also has two 30+ goal seasons in the AHL.
The 6-0, 179-pound Potulny was a former standout at the University of Minnesota as he led the country in goals (with 38) and tied for most points (with 63) during his junior year on team that included Phil Kessel, Blake Wheeler and Alex Goligoski.
Here’s a little highlight package of Potulny…
…damn, this guy can rip it. I absolutely love what the Rangers organization has done this summer by signing successful AHL veterans, including Mueller, Tarnasky, Kampfer, Hunwick, Kostka and Chris Bourque, to bring a winning environment to the Hartford franchise. Last season, the Wolf Pack were an absolute disaster, so players such as Kristo, Lindberg, Fast and McIlrath rarely found themselves in big game situations to assist with their development.
…having someone like Potulny in Hartford to put his arm around a young player or help the team get into the playoffs to provide top prospects with some postseason experience is invaluable. Kudos to Sather for seeing a deficiency within the system and rectifying it.