Panthers acquire Wolski from Rangers for Vernace, pick Staff

2/25/2012 5:35:16 PM

The New York Rangers have traded forward Wojtek Wolski to the Florida Panthers in return for defenceman Michael Vernace and a third-round draft pick in 2013.

The 26-year-old forward has tallied three assists in nine games for the Rangers this season. The Panthers primary interest in Wolski appears to be his prowess in the shootout.

''We are very pleased to have acquired Wojtek,'' vice president and general manager Dale Tallon said. ''He is a skilled forward with scoring ability who will fit in very well to our lineup.''

Acquired last January by the Rangers from the Phoenix Coyotes in exchange for defenceman Michal Rozsival, the winger has scored 91 goals and 158 assists in 402 career games between the Rangers, Coyotes and Avalanche.

Wolski is in the final year of a two-year deal he signed in 2010, worth an average annual value of $3.8 million.

He was originally drafted in the first round (21st overall) by the Colorado Avalanche at the 2004 NHL Entry Draft.

Vernace, 25, has scored two goals and 14 assists in 44 games with the Norfolk Admirals and San Antonio Rampage of the American Hockey League this season. He played 22 career NHL games with Tampa Bay and Colorado, registering one assist.

The Toronto, Ontario native was originally selected by the San Jose Sharks as a seventh round choice, 201st overall, in the 2004 NHL Entry Draft.