Friday, December 31, 2010

Dylan Olsen Signs With Chicago

On one hand, it's nice to know that you have players on your team that are talented enough to turn pro in the middle of a season.

On the other, this really sucks.

Take it away, Mr. Pates.

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 team’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.  The tournament runs through Jan. 5.

“Dylan made huge strides in the last year and was really helping us in a good start through the first half of the season,” said UMD assistant coach Brett Larson. “We are disappointed that he’s not finishing the season with us.”

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.

I'll be with UMD Saturday, as we make our way to Canton, N.Y., which will be our homebase for a two-game series against Clarkson Monday and Tuesday. I'll try to get you more on this story, and will perhaps blog a few thoughts then.

For now, it's just the facts, sirs and ma'ams. Have a good New Year's holiday.

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