From Rick Carpiniello’s Journal News Blog and confirmed via a FoxSportsOH Twitter report: the New York Rangers traded Dane Byers to Columbus for Chad Kolarik.

It appears that the Rangers have dealt away Byers’ toughness and grit in order to add the strong skating and speed that Kolarik features. It is too bad that Byers never really got a true shot at showing the Rangers what he could do at the NHL level.

Kolarik was originally a seventh round draft pick (#199) of the Phoenix Coyotes in the 2004 NHL Draft. Columbus acquired him in March 2010 in exchange for Alexandre Picard.

The 5-10/175 RW made his NHL debut last season plating two scoreless games for the Blue Jackets. In 76 AHL games last season (split between Syracuse and San Antonio), Kolarik scored 26 goals and 24 assists with 55 PIM. Conversely, Byers, who was Hartford’s captain, scored 25 goals and 26 assists in 74 games with the Wolf Pack.

Kolarik spent four years at the University of Michigan and was a member of the United States U-17, U-18 and World Junior teams prior to playing for the Wolverines. In 2007-2008, Kolarik was selected to the CCHA First All-Star Team and was named to the NCAA West Second All-American Team.

Here is Kolarik’s Scouting Report from TheStar.com:

ASSETS: Has loads of inner drive, a nose for the net and scoring acumen. Can play both wing and center.

FLAWS: Doesn’t have ideal size for the NHL game. Still needs more work on his defensive-zone coverage.

CAREER POTENTIAL: Depth scoring forward.

Add to Yahoo Add to Google Furl this Add to Spurl Save to Del.icio.us Digg IT! Live Bookmarks! Blogmarks