Rangers center Jonny Brodzinski sets before a faceoff against the...

Rangers center Jonny Brodzinski sets before a faceoff against the Canadiens in the first period of an NHL game at Madison Square Garden on Feb. 15. Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

GREENBURGH – It’s been a long and, at times, frustrating journey for Jonny Brodzinski, but on Wednesday the Minnesota native was able to celebrate the official end of his journey to becoming an NHL player when the Rangers announced they had signed the 30-year-old forward to a two-year contract extension.

Brodzinski, whose 37 games in 2023-24 are the most he has played in an NHL season, will earn an average of $787,500 on a one-way deal, according to a source, meaning he will earn the same whether he is playing in the NHL or the minor leagues.

“It was great. We signed it last night. It was just right after the game [a 3-1 win over Dallas],’’ Brodzinski said after the Rangers’ short practice. “I’m extremely excited, the family’s excited. I can’t wait to be back for another two years.’’

Brodzinski, originally a fifth-round pick by the Los Angeles Kings in the 2013 draft, is in his ninth professional season, but he spent more of that time playing in the minor leagues (313 games) than the NHL (138). He didn’t make the Rangers out of training camp this season and was initially assigned to AHL Hartford.

He was called up in late November after Kaapo Kakko suffered a knee injury that kept him out of the lineup for 21 games. Brodzinski, who was leading the AHL in scoring at the time of his call-up, has remained with the big club since. He has four goals and 11 assists and is currently centering the third line with Kakko on one wing and rookie Will Cuylle on the other.

“He's been terrific,’’ coach Peter Laviolette said of Brodzinski. “We were in need of somebody to come up here and play well and provide some offense, some speed. He's got such a great attitude, too. . . . He went down [to Hartford] and did exactly what he was supposed to do – put himself in a position to get called up. We had some space that needed to be filled. It ended up being a longer term space and he came up here and played really well.

“So it's well deserved, and we're happy to have him here.’’

Panarin, Vesey miss practice

Rangers leading scorer Artemi Panarin, who inadvertently blocked a shot in the third period of Tuesday’s game, missed practice with a lower-body injury, the team said. Forward Jimmy Vesey also missed practice with a  lower-body injury.

Both players are “day-to-day,’’ according to Laviolette, who would not say whether either’s status for Thursday’s game against the Devils is in jeopardy.

Wheeler update

Laviolette was asked how forward Blake Wheeler is doing, a week after the forward suffered a lower-body injury that ended his season.

“I talked to him once, shared a couple of text messages,’’ the coach said. “He's doing as well as he could be. I'm sure he'd rather be on the ice and playing games.’’

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