Minnesota Duluth forward Richards gives up senior season, inks NHL contract with Rangers

Justin Richards (Minnesota-Duluth-19) 2017 Nov.4 The St.Cloud State University Huskies host the University of Minnesota Duluth Bulldogs in a NCHC matchup at the Herb Brooks National Hockey Center in St. Cloud, MN (Bradley K. Olson)
Justin Richards played three seasons at Minnesota Duluth, winning national championships as a freshman and a sophomore (photo: Bradley K. Olson).

Minnesota Duluth junior forward Justin Richards has signed an entry-level contract with the New York Rangers and will forgo his final season of collegiate eligibility.

Richards, an undrafted free agent out of Columbus, Ohio, concluded the 2019-20 season with a career-high 14 goals and 11 assists for 25 points while recording a plus-14 rating in 34 games.

A 2018-19 All-NCHC Second Team pick and the league’s defensive forward of the year the past two seasons, Richards played 120 games, tallying 66 points on 26 goals and 40 assists with a plus-40 rating since joining the Bulldogs in 2017-18.