The Pittsburgh Penguins have acquired forward Chad Kolarik from the New York Rangers in exchange for Benn Ferriero, it was announced today by executive vice president and general manager Ray Shero.
Kolarik, 26, will report to Pittsburgh’s minor-league affiliate, the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins of the American Hockey League (AHL). This season, Kolarik has been one of the top players in the AHL while playing for the Connecticut Whale, earning a berth in Monday night’s AHL All-Star Classic in Providence, R.I.
The 5-foot-11, 185-pound Kolarik has ranked among the top scorers in the AHL all season. He currently places 13th (tied) in the scoring race with 35 points (16G-19A) in 41 games. Kolarik’s 16 goals and seven power-play tallies both lead the Whale.
Kolarik, who hails from Abington, Pa., made his NHL debut by playing in two games with the Columbus Blue Jackets during the 2009-10 season. He also appeared in four games with the New York Rangers in ’10-11, notching one assist in four games.
A former seventh round (199th overall) draft pick of the Phoenix Coyotes in 2004, Kolarik missed the entire 2011-12 season following a knee injury in training camp.
Kolarik has spent four-plus seasons playing in the AHL for the San Antonio Rampage, Syracuse Crunch, Springfield Falcons and the Hartford/Connecticut Whale. He has tallied 176 points (83G-93A) and 194 penalty minutes in 242 career AHL regular-season games. Kolarik has added 11 points (7G-4A) in 10 AHL postseason contests.
Prior to turning pro, Kolarik played four seasons of collegiate hockey at the University of Michigan between 2004-08. His best season came as a senior in ’07-08 when he notched 30 goals, 26 assists and 56 points in 39 games. Kolarik also spent two seasons with the United States National Team Development Program from 2002-04.
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