Former NHL first-round draft pick Dylan Olsen, a Minnesota Duluth sophomore defenseman from Calgary, Alberta, signed a three-year, two-way contract with the Chicago Blackhawks on Friday and will join the teamâ€™s American Hockey League affiliate in Rockford, Ill., following the World Junior Championships.
Olsen, 19, leaves UMD with two goals and 22 assists for 24 points in 53 career games. This season, he had a goal and 12 assists for 13 points in 17 games before leaving to join Canada for the World Junior Championships in Buffalo, N.Y. Canada finished the preliminary round 3-1 following a shootout loss to Sweden on Friday. The tournament runs through Jan. 5.
â€œDylan was having a good year and we were expecting a better, more confident player to return to us after the experience of the junior tournament,â€ said UMD coach Scott Sandelin. â€œWe knew how much making Canadaâ€™s team meant to him and that it could only help his play. Weâ€™re just disappointed he chose to make a change at midseason.â€
Sandelin did note that recent academic developments would likely have left Olsen ineligible for the second semester.
In the 2009 NHL Entry Draft, Olsen was selected in the first round and 28th overall by Chicago after playing two seasons with Camrose in the Alberta Junior Hockey League. His contract calls for an NHL salary of $525,000 the first year, $700,000 the second and $810,000 the third, with a signing bonus of $90,000 each year. He would make $67,500 playing in the minor leagues.
The No. 5-ranked Bulldogs (12-4-3) leave Saturday for Potsdam, N.Y., and a non-conference series Monday and Tuesday with Clarkson University (10-5-2)
The Bulldogs are also without senior winger Kyle Schmidt who suffered a bone displacement in a hand Wednesday at practice. Heâ€™ll have a pin or plate inserted in the hand Tuesday and will miss a minimum of one month, he said. Schmidt had seven goals and five assists in 18 games this season. UMD freshman defenseman Justin Faulk will miss the Clarkson series while with the United States at the World Junior Championships.
AND IF YOU want to see Mike Connolly shatter a pane of tempered glass at Amsoil Arena, the Northland’s NewsCenter has some My9 video here.
The United States edged Switzerland 2-1 Friday to finish the World Junior Championships preliminary round unbeaten. UMD’s Justin Faulk had an assist on a Chris Kreider power-play goal. The Americans have a bye into Monday’s semifinals and will meet the Canada-Switzerland winner. Sweden will meet the Finland-Russia winner. A U.S. game recap from the IIHF website is here.