Rangers sign KHL defenseman Alexei Bereglazov

Photo by Scott W. Grau/Icon Sportswire

While looking for more help along the blue line, the New York Rangers added defenseman Alexei Bereglazov from the KHL on Friday.

Bereglazov just turned 23 and because of his age, his entry-level deal can only be for two years. More than likely, his contract will begin next season because if the Rangers decide to try to make him eligible for this postseason run, he will have to clear waivers.

New York fans are going to love his size. He stands at 6-4 and could be NHL ready as early as this fall. He posted 19 points in 60 KHL games this past season, which was the most by a defenseman under 24 years old in the league.

It is a good thing too as the Rangers are searching for ways to improve their defensive core. New York still has captain Ryan McDonagh and Marc Staal on the back-end, but the defense has seen key members such as Anton Stralman and Keith Yandle leave over the past few years. The Rangers will lose defenseman Brendan Smith, who they acquired at the trade deadline from the Detroit Red Wings, in free agency. The addition of Bereglazov could allow Brady Skjei to develop further in the AHL or play fewer NHL minutes. On the other hand, it could result in the Rangers parting ways with 29-year-old defenseman Nick Holden.

Bereglazov is left-handed, but this past season, he spent most of his time playing the right side.

New York is trying its best to win the Stanley Cup with goaltender Henrik Lundqvist, who turned 35 this past March. The Rangers currently lead their first-round series with the Montreal Canadiens, 3-2.

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