NEW YORK — St. Lawrence’s 2001 NCAA Frozen Four hopes were dealt another blow today when center Brandon Dietrich signed with the New York Rangers. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
The Saints, the early favorite to win the ECAC and a contender to return to the Frozen Four, lost goalie Derek Gustafson two weeks ago when he signed with the expansion Minnesota Wild with three years of eligibility remaining. St. Lawrence still has a lot of returning and incoming talent, but will obviously be hurt by the loss of two star underclassmen.
“Brandon was one of top offensive forwards in college hockey, averaging over a point a game while at St. Lawrence University,” said Rangers assistant general manager Don Maloney. “He is an impressive skater with strong offensive instincts and hockey sense. We are excited about him as a prospect for our hockey club.”
Dietrich, 22, had 15 goals and 41 points in 36 games as a sophomore for the Saints last season. He led the team in assists (26), points (41), power play points (16) and game-winning goals (4), and placed tied for fifth in the ECAC with 25 points in 20 games league games.
This season, Dietrich’s performance earned him Second Team All-American and First Team All-ECAC honors. He posted ten multiple-point games, including a season-high five-point night against Clarkson.
As a freshman, Dietrich had 20 goals and 39 points in 39 games, capturing the 1999 ECAC Rookie of the Year award in the process. He led the nation with seven game-winning goals during the 1998-99 season.