27-Year-Old Defenseman – New York Rangers
Ryan McDonagh Contract Information:
Signed a six-year, $28.2 million contract with the Rangers in July 2013.
McDonagh scored his first goal since Dec. 23 in the first period of Sunday's 2-1 win over Washington.
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RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
McDonagh's first season as captain of the Rangers came with its share of disappointments -- 11 games missed to injury, a 10-point decline in scoring, and a second consecutive deep playoff run falling short. But with the offseason to return to full health, the Blueshirts' top blueliner should be back and raring to go in 2015-16. He'll have help on the back end of the power play this year, with Keith Yandle in the fold for a full season, while ever-reliable defense parter Dan Girardi will (as usual) hang back at even strength to let McDonagh encroach into the offensive zone. All that points to a likely rebound for McDonagh, who's always been considered to have 50-point upside. At times, he's been one of the most dominant defensemen in hockey on both sides of the puck, so McDonagh should return to form as a top-10 blueliner this year.
By far the Rangersí most reliable blue line scorer last season (43 points in 77 games), McDonagh will reportedly take the reigns as the captain of this team in 2014-15, with veterans Ryan Callahan and Brad Richards no longer in the fold. Having already topped 30 points in a season twice in the last three campaigns (save for lockout season), the 25-year-old is seemingly just entering the prime of his career. Most importantly to fantasy owners, McDonagh has been very reliable, having missed just 10 regular-season tilts in his last three seasons combined, despite playing north of 27 minutes per game on a consistent basis. Be prepared, however -- for the first time in his career, McDonagh's expectations are at their highest, and in accordance, heíll very likely to be selected highly among the elite fantasy defensemen come draft day.
Over the last two seasons, McDonagh has not only provided the Rangers with glimpses of his exciting offensive potential, but he has also established himself as one of the league's top shutdown defensemen. The 24-year-old held down a plus-13 rating while averaging just over 24 minutes of ice time per game this past season. Now armed with a fresh, long-term (six years, $28.2 million) contract, the former first-round pick (2007) figures to only increase his offensive production (four goals, 15 assists) from the brief lockout shorted season. As McDonagh heads into the 2013-14 campaign, his offensive upside and the expectations that come with his new contract should make him a popular late-round pick.
As one-half of the Rangers' top defensive pairing, McDonagh put together a very solid 2011-12 season in posting 32 points with seven goals, 25 assists, a 25 plus-minus rating. His breakout season was more of a matter of time than a surprise after coming to New York in the deal that rid the Blueshirts' of Scott Gomez. The 23-year-old McDonagh is yet another young Rangers blueliner to keep an eye on in fantasy drafts in 2012-13 and is a great sleeper pick to target as he gets more experience under his belt.
McDonagh was acquired by the Rangers as part of the Scott Gomez blockbuster deal with Montreal in late June of 2009. The quick blueliner arrived halfway through last season and played strong defensive hockey en route to an impressive plus-16 as a rookie. Early signs point to McDonagh being a defense first, Marc Staal type of player with a good first pass. He's meshed with Mike Sauer, so expect that pair to increase their responsibilities this coming year.
The former Wisconsin Badger forwent his final year of college eligibilty and signed a three-year, entry-level deal with the Blueshirts in July of 2010. As one of the top prospects in the Rangers' organization, McDonagh should enjoy a bright future in the Big Apple sooner than later, but there are plenty other talented blueliners in the organization fighting for minutes with the parent club. At the very least, McDonagh is on the brink of an NHL gig.
McDonagh was taken with the 12th overall pick by the Rangers in the 2007 draft and is yet to play within the organization. He's only 20 years old and has massive upside, but he's a number of years away from breaking onto Broadway.
Drafted 12th overall by Montreal in 2007, McDonagh will begin his second season at the University of Wisconsin in 2008-09.
McDonagh entered the 2007 draft as Mr. Hockey, the title given the best high school player in the state of Minnesota. He's a prototypical jack-of-all-trades -- he does everything reasonably well. And that bodes well for a long, minute-munching NHL career. He'll probably be a consistent 40-point player in the NHL and play much like Sami Salo. Yes, there's fantasy value in that, folks. Stash him away.