New York Rangers President and General Manager Glen Sather announced today that the club has agreed to terms with center Erik Christensen on a new contract.
Christensen, 26, skated in 49 games with the Rangers this season, registering eight goals and 18 assists for 26 points, along with 24 penalty minutes and a plus-14 rating. He ranked second on the team in plus/minus rating, and tied for third on the team with 26 points (eight goals and 18 assists) in the final 43 games of the season. Christensen, who was named co-recipient of the John Halligan Good Guy Award for cooperation with the media, recorded a career-high, eight multi-point efforts, including a three-point performance on February 14 vs. Tampa Bay (two goals and one assist) to tie his career-high for most goals and points in a game. He tallied his first point as a Ranger (goal) and the 100th point of his career (assist) on December 31 at Carolina. Christensen made his Rangers debut on December 5 at Buffalo after being claimed off waivers from Anaheim on December 2. The Rangers posted a record of 5-1-0 when he tallied a goal, and were 12-3-2 when he recorded a point. Christensen also appeared in nine games with Anaheim prior to joining the Rangers. He established a career-high with a plus-11 rating overall on the season.
Christensen skated in 64 games with Anaheim and Atlanta during the 2008-09 season, registering seven goals and 21 assists for 28 points, along with 20 penalty minutes. His 21 assists marked a new career-high. He recorded five multi-point efforts on the season, including four two-assist performances. Christensen ranked second on Atlanta in faceoff percentage, posting a 54.6% (233-427) success rate, at the time of his trade to Anaheim on March 4. He also tallied two assists in eight playoff contests, collecting his first career post-season point in Game Two of the Western Conference Quarterfinal matchup at San Jose on April 19.
A veteran of five NHL seasons, Christensen skated in his 200th NHL game on March 3, 2009 vs. Florida. He currently ranks 11th in the NHL all-time in shootout percentage (51.4%), and is tied for ninth in shootout game-deciding goals (eight) and 10th in shootout goals (18). Christensen established career-highs in goals (18) and points (33) while skating with the Pittsburgh Penguins during the 2006-07 season. He tied for the NHL lead with eight shootout goals that season, converting at a 57.1% (8-14) success rate in the shootout. He also set a new career-high for points in a game with two, three-point efforts – January 16 against NY Islanders (two goals and one assist) and March 29 at Boston (two goals and one assist) – and posted a career-high, three-game goal-scoring streak from December 1 to December 5 (three goals).
The 6-1, 203-pounder has appeared in 275 career NHL games with the Rangers, Pittsburgh Penguins, Atlanta Thrashers and Anaheim Ducks, registering 50 goals and 74 assists for 124 points, along with 136 penalty minutes. Christensen made his NHL debut on November 1, 2005 at New Jersey, and he notched his first NHL goal in his second game on November 3 against the NY Islanders. In addition, Christensen has recorded two assists and six penalty minutes in 12 career playoff contests with Pittsburgh and Anaheim.
The Edmonton, Alberta native was originally selected as the Pittsburgh Penguins third round draft choice, 69th overall, in the 2002 NHL Entry Draft.