Rangers sign Richards to entry-level deal

The New York Rangers have reached an agreement on a two-year, entry-level deal with free agent forward Justin Richards, with the contract beginning in the 2020-21 season. 

The 22-year-old played 34 games for the University of Minnesota-Duluth in the 2019-20 season, scoring 14 goals and registering 11 assists. 

Richards was selected as the National Collegiate Hockey Conference’s best defensive forward for a second straight season, powered by a plus-14 rating. 

He won 434 faceoffs last season, fifth most in the NCAA, and tied for the most short-handed goals in college hockey with three. 

At 5-foot-10 and 190 pounds, Richards served as an alternate captain for the Bulldogs in his recently completed junior season and was tied for second on the team in goals. Minnesota-Duluth were 15-3-1 in games in which Richards registered at least one point. 

Richards helped the Bulldogs win back-to-back national championships in 2018 and 2019, and he was named to the Frozen Four All-Tournament team during the latter title run. He skated in all 120 of Minnesota-Duluth’s games over his three-year collegiate career, scoring 26 goals and registering 40 assists.