Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Buzz: Rangers Interested In Stephane Da Costa, What He Would Bring To New York

As the college hockey season winds down the undrafted free agent signings from the college ranks really heat up and one of the most sought after players out there this season is Merrimack forward Stephane Da Costa.  Da Costa is a 5'11" 180lbs center that starred during his sophomore year for Merrimack College, with a team leading 45 points (14-31) in 33 games.  Following his freshman campaign Da Costa was named the NCAA (Hockey East) Rookie of the Year and NCAA (New England) Rookie of the Year as well.  

Per Larry Brooks of the New York Post the Rangers are in on the bidding war that will be the Da Costa recruitment.  The team most frequently connected with him at this point has been the Minnesota Wild, but Darren Dreger reported yesterday that as many as 20 teams were in on him.

In terms of what you are getting in Da Costa he is 5-foot-11, 180 pounds, plays center and is an extremely intelligent hockey player that has vision and goal scoring touch.  Playmaking is his best attribute, but he is a very good skater, even if not fast, and handles the puck very well both in moving it and protecting it from the opposition.
If the money is all the same, as it appears to be from reports, then Da Costa is going to go to the team that gives him the best chance to play right away and prove he belongs at the NHL level.  If that is what the decision is based on, then coming to New York likely would not happen with the number of young and talent players we already have that he would be competing against for roster spots next season, but it would be great to add him to the mix.