While interested NHL teams wait for college free agent Jimmy Vesey to make his decision, the New York Rangers were able to add an NCAA free agent over their own on Thursday morning when they officially announced the signing of defenseman John Gilmour (on the left in the above picture).
Originally a seventh-round draft pick by the Calgary Flames back in 2013, Gilmour spent the past four seasons playing his college hockey at Providence where he recorded 64 points (21 goals, 43 assists) in 141 games.
This past season was by far his best year at the NCAA level, finishing with nine goals and 14 assists in 34 games. His numbers, especially when it came to his production on the power play, put him among the best in the country for the defensemen.
Once one of the strengths of their team, the Rangers defense has rapidly declined in recent years due to core players getting older and starting to slow down (Dan Girardi and Marc Staal specifically).
They also lost almost all of their mobility and puck-moving ability from the blue line this offseason with the retirement of Dan Boyle and Keith Yandle signing a huge contract with the Florida Panthers. So adding a player like Gilmour that at least has the potential to make an impact on the power play and with the puck, whether it be this season or in a future season, can not hurt. Especially when it doesn’t cost anything in terms of assets that needed to be given up.