Megna's Marked Improvement Made Rangers Step Up On Day One

Thursday, July 2, 2015
Jayson Megna led the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins with 26 goals in 63 games during the regular season. Photo credit: Amy's WBS Picture Page.
Former Pittsburgh and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins forward Jayson Megna didn't remain an unrestricted free agent for long, and after signing a one-year, one-way contract with the New York Rangers on the opening day of free agent signing period he's poised to compete for another crack at the NHL.

"I think it's an extremely exciting opportunity for me," Megna said about his initial talks with the Rangers. "My agent and I set parameters for what we wanted in an organization, opportunity wise as well as with contract negotiations," he added. 

"New York [Rangers] was the team that stepped up and gave us exactly what we were looking for."

Megna will have a former Penguins teammate likely battling alongside him come training camp this fall, but the familiarity might work in their favor to vault both into the NHL next season.

"I think it's going to be great being back with Gibby," Megna said of Brian Gibbons also signing with the Rangers on July 1st. "We had some really good chemistry my second year."

For Megna, who will turn 26 in February, the one-way contract signifies an opportunity to compete for an NHL roster spot this fall in training camp - something he felt close quite quickly in Pittsburgh in the fall of 2014.

"Since training camp really, it felt like I wasn't part of their plan," Megna said, "Especially at the start, being sent down in the second round of cuts."

"Their message was to keep working on my overall game, and I thought I improved from year to year," Megna said as he praised his former coaches in the AHL. "Coach [John] Hynes and Naz were a crucial part in my development and I was very fortunate to have had them as coaches."

Megna possessed the speed and skating ability to make things happen at the AHL level last year, but saw also saw ample time on the WBS Penguins' penalty kill units in 2014-15 - working on his play in the defensive zone and positioning away from the puck.

"I think that those two areas were certainly improved throughout the year," Megna replied when I asked him about areas of his game he knew he needed to work on. "Just my overall confidence with my game was significant. I knew what I had to do night in and night out to help the team win."

With openings up front for the Rangers in training camp approaching, Megna's confidence from last season will need to carry over into his tenure with his new team in 2015-16.
"I believe the opportunity to be in the NHL is a good one if I go in there, compete hard, and skate. By no means am I guarantee. I know I have to go in there and earn a job."


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