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After Amsoil opener loss, Bulldogs hit with loss of player going to NHL

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...

UMD hockey
UMD's Drew Olson (8) checks North Dakota's Dany Kristo during Thursday's game at Amsoil Arena. (Clint Austin / caustin@duluthnews.com)

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. Canada finished the preliminary round 3-1 following a shootout loss to Sweden on Friday. The tournament runs through Wednesday.

"Dylan 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," said UMD coach Scott Sandelin. "We knew how much making Canada's team meant to him and that it could only help his play. We're just disappointed he chose to make a change at midseason."

Sandelin did note that recent academic developments would probably 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.

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The No. 5-ranked Bulldogs (12-4-3) leave today 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. He'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.

Tempered glass, not plexiglass

The piece of glass that shattered into many tiny pieces on impact late in the first period of Thursday's opening game at Amsoil Arena, did as expected, said Jeff Stark, the rink's technology and hockey operations director. The seamless, tempered safety glass, similar to a side window of a car, is a change from the plexiglass used at the DECC, and allows a much clearer view of the rink. The safety glass can withstand a hit, but received a forceful jolt from the helmet of UMD winger Mike Connolly, who went to make a check, but missed his North Dakota target.

The glass fragments, which typically fall straight down, were shot into the crowd because of the high impact. There were no serious injuries, although a UMD cheerleader required four stitches to close a cut on a leg.

Each glass pane weighs about 150-200 pounds. It took about 11 minutes for the Amsoil Arena crew to clean up the glass and put in a temporary, lighter acrylic pane.

North Dakota team gets home

After defeating UMD 5-0 in Thursday's U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame Game, North Dakota's team spent an extra night in Duluth because of heavy snow in the Grand Forks, N.D., area. The Fighting Sioux left Duluth about 8 a.m. Friday and arrived home by 1 p.m. without incident, said North Dakota sports information director Jayson Hajdu.

Related Topics: HOCKEY
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