Two days after they acquired his rights in a trade with the Carolina Hurricanes, the Rangers on Thursday signed defenseman Adam Fox, a Jericho native and Harvard product, to an entry-level contract, the team announced.
Fox, 21, was a finalist for the Hobey Baker Award as college hockey’s top player and was a first-team All American this season, as he scored nine goals and had 39 assists for 48 points in 33 games. The 39 assists led the NCAA, making Fox the first defenseman to lead the NCAA in assists since Matt Carle did it in 2005-06.
“I grew up a big Rangers fan, and to have the opportunity to hopefully suit up for them is definitely special for me,’’ Fox said in a tweet from the Rangers’ official Twitter account.
The 5-11, 195-pound Fox, a righthanded-shooting defenseman who will play for the U.S. in the upcoming World Championships, was named the ECAC Hockey Player of the Year, the Ivy League Player of the Year and the 2019 Walter Brown Award winner, given to the best American-born college hockey player in New England. Fox will come to training camp with the Rangers in the fall and is expected to make the club. He will join a group of righthanded-shooting, offensive-minded defensemen that includes Kevin Shattenkirk, Tony DeAngelo and Neal Pionk, and he will also join fellow 21-year-olds Ryan Lindgren and Libor Hajek, who, like Fox, will be given long looks.
The Rangers acquired Fox’s rights on Tuesday by sending their second-round pick in this summer’s NHL Draft, plus a conditional third-rounder in next year’s draft. It was the second time Fox, who was originally a third-round pick (66th overall) in 2016 by the Calgary Flames, had been traded. He was first dealt from Calgary to Carolina in a draft day deal a year ago. For the Rangers, who are in rebuilding mode and have spent the last two years acquiring prospects and draft picks, the move to trade away a pair of draft picks for Fox is a signal that the team is ready to accelerate the rebuilding process, and could mean an active summer ahead for GM Jeff Gorton.
Fox was a member of the 2017 US World Junior team that won the gold medal and the 2018 team that won the bronze.