NEWARK -- Before the doors even opened at Prudential Center for the NHL draft, the Rangers had made a trade for a physical defenseman and were putting the finishing touches on a deal for an assistant coach.
Justin Falk, a 6-5, 220-pound blueliner, was acquired from the Wild for Benn Ferriero and a sixth-round pick in 2014. Falk, 24, who has played in 108 NHL games since being selected in the fourth round of the 2007 draft, has a goal, 14 assists and 100 penalty minutes.
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Falk, born in Snowflake, Alberta, is a "first step'' in adding defensive depth, said assistant general manager Jim Schoenfeld, who is eager to see him in training camp. Falk told the Rangers' website: "I have the confidence in my ability to shut down elite players in this league."
Meanwhile, the Rangers are expected to complete a contract with former defenseman Ulf Samuelsson to join coach Alain Vigneault's staff. Samuelsson, 49, was an assistant with the Phoenix Coyotes for six seasons before serving as head coach of MoDo in Sweden last season. He played for the Rangers for four seasons, as well as the Whalers, Penguins, Red Wings and Flyers. Vigneault, who was at the draft, will add another assistant, most likely Newell Brown, who ran the power play in Vancouver.
Samuelsson is expected to be in Westchester when the Rangers open their weeklong prospect development camp Monday.
The top names among the 21 forwards, 10 defensemen and three goalies are J.T. Miller, 20, who played 26 games with the Rangers before being shut down with an injured wrist; right wings Christian Thomas and Michael St. Croix; last year's top pick, defenseman Brady Skjei, and former first-rounder Dylan McIlrath, who injured his knee in camp last year. Two other AHL forwards are expected to get a look in training camp in September: right wings Marek Hrivik and Josh Nicholls.
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