Justin Richards, the son of former NHL player and coach Todd Richards, agreed to an entry-level contract with the New York Rangers on Thursday. Terms were not disclosed.
The 22-year-old forward, who was an undrafted free agent, had 25 points (14 goals, 11 assists) in 34 games this season as a junior at the University of Minnesota Duluth.
Richards, who was tied for first in the NCAA in shorthanded goals (three) and fifth in face-off wins this season (434; 59 percent winning percentage), was selected as the National Collegiate Hockey Conference's (NCHC) best defensive forward for the second consecutive season. He was also named an NCHC Second Team All-Star in 2018-19.
Richards scored 66 points (26 goals, 40 assists) in 120 games in three seasons at Minnesota Duluth, helping the Bulldogs win the NCAA championship in each of his first two seasons.
Todd Richards, who played eight games for the Hartford Whalers in the 1990-91 and 1991-92 NHL seasons, was coach of the Minnesota Wild from 2009-11 and of the Columbus Blue Jackets from 2011-15. He has been an assistant with the Tampa Bay Lightning since June 6, 2016.
Richards is the second Minnesota Duluth player to agree to an entry-level contract with an NHL team in the past seven days. Scott Perunovich, a 21-year-old defenseman and Hobey Baker Award finalist as the best player in NCAA men's hockey, agreed to a two-year contract with the St. Louis Blues on March 27.