NEW YORK, NY—The Rangers closed a four-year deal with New Rochelle, New York-born defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk, 28, on Saturday, July 1.

The 6 foot tall, 209 pound defenseman has reportedly longed to make Madison Square Gardens, around 20 miles away from New Rochelle, his home arena. Shattenkirk’s new contract (set at $6.65 million per year) will remain active through the 2020-2021 season.

“It’s an opportunity that may only come once in my career, and I felt like this was my chance. It’s a team I’m extremely excited about. A lot of the factors outside of money and term came into play, and that’s ultimately what won the decision for me,” said Shattenkirk, who has referred to himself as a “New Yorker at heart.”

In the week leading up to free agency, Shattenkirk spoke with numerous teams before deciding to return to his home state. Organizations were permitted to begin selecting free agents at 12:00 p.m. EST.

Shattenkirk stated, “Obviously, there were some sacrifices to be made, but in my mind those sacrifices are what you leave on the table to live out a dream like this,” stated Shattenkirk.

The defenseman later shared that he looks forward to joining a team with Cup-winning potential in a city that he holds near and dear to his heart, a lifelong dream of his. He played with both the St. Louis Blues (with whom he spent a total of seven seasons) and the Washington Capitals. He tallied 56 points (13 goals and 43 assists) in 80 games between both teams.

In 61 games with the Blues, Shattenkirk scored 11 goals and collected 42 points which entailed seven goals and 13 assists on the power play. He was then traded to the Caps, making 19 regular season appearances (attaining 14 points) and 13 in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, during which he snagged six points.

Selected by Colorado in the first round (14th overall) of the 2007 NHL Draft, Shattenkirk made his NHL debut with the Avalanche in 2010. In 490 career games with Colorado, St. Louis, and Washington, he holds 298 points (68 goals and 230 assists) and 304 penalty minutes.

The Rangers are receiving a defensemen who has scored 25 or more power play goals in the past four seasons. No player on New York’s roster has done so since 26 year-old Brian Leetch during the 2001-2002 season.