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Hockey

Dennis Gilbert signs deal with Blackhawks

| Monday, April 16, 2018

Notre Dame junior defenseman Dennis Gilbert has signed a three-year, entry-level deal with the Chicago Blackhawks, the team announced in a press release Friday. Gilbert was selected by Chicago in the third-round of the 2015 NHL Draft with the 91st overall pick.

Gilbert helped the Irish advance to two Frozen Fours in his three seasons with the team. He finished his collegiate career last weekend with Notre Dame, as the Irish lost to Minnesota-Duluth in the national championship game April 7.

Ann Curtis | The Observer

Irish junior defenseman Dennis Gilbert carries the puck up the ice and looks to pass during Notre Dame’s 4-3 win over Michigan in the Frozen Four on April 5 at Xcel Energy Center.

The junior defenseman from Buffalo, New York, led the entire NCAA in shorthanded goals by a defenseman this past season with two. He also led the team — and was tied for third in the NCAA — with 88 blocked shots this season. During his sophomore year, he was named the Hockey East conference’s Best Defensive Defenseman and was a third-team all-star in 2017.

Playing in mostly a stay-at-home defenseman role, Gilbert finishes his Notre Dame career with six goals and 36 assists for 42 points in 116 games. He also registered 236 blocked shots over his three seasons.

Gilbert immediately joined the Blackhawks’ top minor-league team, the Rockford IceHogs, who played their final regular-season games Friday and Saturday and have clinched a berth in the AHL playoffs.

Gilbert is now the fourth Notre Dame player to leave school and sign a professional contract within the past week, joining Andrew Oglevie (Buffalo Sabres) as one of two players to leave school early to do so. Jake Evans (Montreal Canadians) and Jordan Gross (Arizona Coyotes), both of who are set to graduate as seniors, have also signed professional contracts.

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