The team announced Boogaard’s death on Friday night, but gave no details.
“Derek was an extremely kind and caring individual,” Rangers president and general manager Glen Sather said in a release. “He was a very thoughtful person, who will be dearly missed by all those who knew him. We extend our deepest sympathies to his family, friends and teammates during this difficult time.”
Taken 202nd overall in the 2001 entry draft by Minnesota, Boogaard appeared in 255 career games with the Wild from 2005-06 to 2009-10.
One of the most feared heavyweights in the league, the Saskatoon native signed with the Rangers as a free agent in July, appearing in 22 games last season, registering one goal and one assist.
In 277 career games, the six-foot-seven, 265-pound Boogaard recorded three goals and 13 assists to go along with 589 penalty minutes.
News of Boogaard’s death spread quickly Friday, with Edmonton Oilers defenceman Ryan Whitney tweeting: “Awful news about Derek Boogaard. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family.”
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