Undrafted Baldwin making his mark
Defenseman's performance in BCHL, college earned him an NHL contract
Ernie Gare, a Rangers amateur scout who focuses on Western regions of Canada and the U.S., began watching Baldwin when he entered the BCHL. After seeing how well Baldwin performed with his hometown Grizzlies, Gare was convinced that the Rangers should keep an eye on him.
Both Gare and Gordie Clark, the Rangers' Director, Player Personnel, paid close attention to the defenseman's season at Anchorage in 2009-10, and they felt he could be a factor at the next level based on the way he had progressed in college hockey.
When Baldwin elected to turn pro after his freshman season, the Rangers were happy to be his team of choice.
"You never know how long anyone is going to stay in college, but he made the decision that he didn't want to go to school anymore and he wanted to be a pro," said Clark. "That's a decision that only the player himself can make, but once he made that decision, we had to decide if we wanted to make an offer, which we did."
On March 22, Baldwin agreed to terms on a contract with the Rangers. The following day, he signed a tryout deal to finish the season with the Hartford Wolf Pack.
"(Hartford) was great," said Baldwin, "Just like in Alaska, the Hartford coaches (Head coach Ken Gernander and assistants J.J. Daigneault and Pat Boller) gave me a lot of opportunity. The speed and everything else in the game was a lot better. It was tough the first two games, but I think I got my feet wet a little bit and felt pretty good out there for the games that I played."