The New York Rangers wanted Ryan Gropp badly enough that they made a trade on draft day in order to acquire his rights.
On Thursday, they signed the 19-year-old Kamloops native to a three-year entry-level NHL contract.
The contract, according to generalfanager.com, has a total value of US$2,517,500, with an average annual value of $839,166. The contract calls for NHL salaries of $667,500, $925,000 and $925,000, with an AHL salary of $70,000 in each of the three seasons. The signing bonus of $257,500 is payable in three annual instalments of $92,500.
The Rangers selected Gropp in the second round, 41st overall, of the NHL’s 2015 draft. In order to acquire that selection,
the Rangers dealt forward Carl Hagelin and two 2015 draft picks — Nos. 59 and 179 — to the Anaheim Ducks for forward Emerson Etem and the 41st pick.
Gropp, 6-foot-2 and 190 pounds, is in his third season with the Seattle Thunderbirds, who took him with the sixth overall selection in the WHL’s 2011 bantam draft.
This season, Gropp has 32 points, including a team-leading 18 goals, in 32 games. He goes into tonight’s New Year’s Eve game against the host Portland Winterhawks with 132 points, 66 of them goals, in 158 career regular-season games.
A product of the Kamloops Minor Hockey Association, Gropp attended the Okanagan Hockey Academy for one season before joining the BCHL’s Penticton Vees.
Originally, Gropp intended to go the college route and announced his intentions to attend the University of North Dakota and play hockey there.
However, he left the Vees 10 games into the 2013-14 season and joined the Thunderbirds.
Internationally, he played for Hockey Canada at the U-17 and U-18 levels.