Rangers Sign Michal Rozsival, Jed Ortmeyer and Craig Weller
Rangers Sign Michal Rozsival, Jed Ortmeyer and Craig Weller
Tuesday, Sep. 6th, 2005
New York Rangers President and General Manager Glen Sather announced today that the club has agreed to terms with unrestricted free agent defenseman Michal Rozsival, restricted free agent forward Jed Ortmeyer and forward Craig Weller.
Rozsival, 26, appeared in 51 games with HC Ocelari Trinec and HC Moeller Pardubice of the Czech Republic Extraleague (Czech) last season, registering two goals and 13 assists for 15 points, along with 70 penalty minutes. At season's end, he led all Pardubice defensemen in penalty minutes (70), and tied for third in assists (13) and fourth in points (15) among team blueliners. In 16 post-season contests, Rozsival tallied one goal and two assists, along with 34 penalty minutes, and helped his club capture the 2005 Extraleague championship. His teammates during the 2004-05 season included Milan Hejduk and Petr Prucha.
The 6-1, 215-pounder has appeared in 237 career NHL games with the Pittsburgh Penguins, registering 18 goals and 47 assists for 65 points, along with 161 penalty minutes. Rozsival established career-highs in 2001-02, as he played in a total of 79 games and led all Penguin defensemen with nine goals, 20 assists and 29 points. In 1999-00, he ranked second among team defensemen in points (21), tied for second in goals (3), third in assists (17), and ranked third in plus/minus (plus-11). In addition, Rozsival has appeared in 79 career American Hockey League (AHL) games with the Syracuse Crunch and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, posting 11 goals and 30 assists for 41 points, along with 106 penalty minutes. He sustained a knee injury in the first game of the 2003-04 campaign, causing him to miss the remainder of the season. During the 2001 AHL post-season, he tallied three goals and 19 assists along with 23 penalty minutes for Wilkes-Barre in 21 games, helping lead the Penguins to the Calder Cup Finals. His 19 playoff assists ranked first in the American Hockey League.
Prior to turning professional in North America, Rozsival skated in 134 games with the Swift Current Broncos of the Western Hockey League (WHL), recording 22 goals and 86 assists for 108 points, along with 202 penalty minutes.
The Vlasim, Czech Republic native was originally selected by Pittsburgh in the fourth round, 105th overall, in the 1996 NHL Entry Draft.
Ortmeyer, 26, skated in 58 career games with the Rangers during the 2003-04 season, collecting two goals and four assists, along with 16 penalty minutes. He made his Rangers/NHL debut on November 15, 2003 at New Jersey and later tallied his first career NHL goal/point on November 25, 2003 at Tampa Bay (Nikolai Khabibulin). At season's end, he received the Steven McDonald "Extra Effort" Award, as voted by the fans, for going "above and beyond the call of duty" on and off the ice.
The 6-0, 190-pounder appeared in 61 games for the Hartford Wolf Pack of the American Hockey League (AHL) last season, registering seven goals and 20 assists for 27 points, along with 63 penalty minutes. He ranked ninth on the club in scoring. In 74 career AHL games with Hartford, Ortmeyer has collected nine goals and 28 assists for 37 points, along with 67 penalty minutes.
Prior to turning professional, Ortmeyer appeared in 145 career games with the University of Michigan Wolverines of the Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA), totaling 51 goals and 66 assists for 117 points, along with 180 penalty minutes. During his senior season, he served as the captain of the Wolverines and ranked third on the team in scoring, registering 18 goals and 16 assists for 34 points, along with 48 penalty minutes in 36 contests. He received numerous post-season awards, including the Hal Downes Trophy as the team's most valuable player for the second consecutive season and a selection as the CCHA's Best Defensive Forward, while helping the Wolverines reach the NCAA Frozen Four Semifinals. Ortmeyer was also named to the NCAA Midwest Regional All-Tournament Team and captured the Bill Beagan Trophy as the most valuable player of the CCHA Super Six. As a junior, he was selected to the NCAA West Regional All-Tournament Team and the CCHA Super Six All-Tournament Team.
Prior to attending the University of Michigan, Ortmeyer played for the Omaha Lancers of the United States Hockey League (USHL), where he was named to the USHL All-Rookie Team and a Second Team All-Star in 1997-98.
The native of Omaha, Nebraska originally signed with the Rangers as a free agent on May 10, 2003.
Weller, 24, skated in 76 games for the Hartford Wolf Pack of the American Hockey League, registering 10 goals and nine assists for 19 points, along with 182 penalty minutes. He finished the regular season tied for fourth on the Wolf Pack with 182 penalty minutes. Weller established career-highs with 76 games played, 10 goals and 19 points. He recorded the Wolf Pack's first two-goal game of the season (including a game-winning goal) and earned his second consecutive First Star award on November 7 vs. Springfield. In 2005 post-season play, Weller appeared in six contests for the Wolf Pack, collecting one assist and six penalty minutes.
The 6-4, 220-pounder has appeared in 203 career games with the Hartford Wolf Pack of the American Hockey League (AHL) and the Charlotte Checkers of the East Coast Hockey League (ECHL), registering 18 goals and 29 assists for 47 points, along with 360 penalty minutes. In 2003-04, Weller ranked fourth among Hartford defensemen with 14 points and ranked seventh overall on the club with 86 penalty minutes.
Prior to joining the professional ranks, Weller spent two seasons with Kootenay of the Western Hockey League (WHL), appearing in 99 career matches, registering six goals and 18 assists for 24 points, along with 167 penalty minutes. For the beginning of the 2000-01 season, he skated with the University of Minnesota-Duluth of the Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA), registering one assist in six matches.
The Calgary, Alberta native was originally drafted by the St. Louis Blues in the fifth round, 167th overall, of the 2000 NHL Entry Draft. He signed with the Rangers as a free agent on July 11, 2002.
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