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Detroit Red Wings Sign Defenseman Robbie Russo

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Surrender to our new army of right-shot blueliners.

This photo is from 2011.
This photo is from 2011.
Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Some Sunday morning news from the Detroit Red Wings for everyone today, as the team has signed Notre Dame defenseman Robbie Russo.

Russo's offense exploded during his senior season at Notre Dame, potting 41 points (15 goals and 26 assists) in 40 games for the Fighting Irish. Those totals were good for second on the team in goals behind Minnesota Wild prospect Mario Lucia and in points behind Chicago Blackhawks prospect Vince Hinostroza. Nationally, he ranked 24th among all skaters in scoring and second among defenseman behind newly-minted Wild Mike Reilly. Prior to this season, Russo was on pace for similar numbers his junior year but had his season cut short by academic ineligibility.

Russo joins a crowded blue line on the Red Wings after the New York Islanders opted not to sign the 2011 draft pick. If there's one thing that I'm looking at that answers the question of why Ken Holland opted to give this kid a chance, it's that Russo possesses the mythical right-handedness from the blue line. If nothing else, he provides a nice depth option that should be able to contribute greatly in Grand Rapids.

More in the press release below:

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DETROIT AGREES TO TERMS WITH
DEFENSEMAN ROBBIE RUSSO

… Notre Dame Product was NCAA’s Second-Highest Scoring Blueliner in 2014-15 …

DETROIT – The Detroit Red Wings today agreed to terms with defenseman Robbie Russo on a two-year entry-level contract.

Russo captained the Notre Dame Fighting Irish as a senior in 2014-15 and enjoyed a career year, ranking second on the club with 41 points (15-26-41) in 40 games. The 6-foot, 191-lb., defenseman tied for first in the nation in goals by a defenseman and finished one point shy of tying for the lead in points. He was selected to the NCAA East Second All-American Team and the Hockey East First All-Star Team. In 142 career collegiate contests from 2011-15, Russo tallied 94 points (28-66-94) and 82 penalty minutes. The 22-year-old was also a 2012 CCHA All-Rookie Team selection and was a member of the Notre Dame team that won the final CCHA championship in 2013 at Joe Louis Arena. Russo was originally drafted in the fourth round (95th overall) of the 2011 NHL Entry Draft by the New York Islanders.

Prior to his collegiate career, Russo spent two seasons with the U.S. National Team Development Program in Ann Arbor, Mich., notching 61 points (11-50-61) and 85 penalty minutes in 112 total games with the program. The Westmont, Illi., native has also twice captured gold on the international circuit, each time as his team’s top point-producing defenseman. He picked up five points (3-2-5) in six appearances at the 2010 IIHF World Under-17 Hockey Challenge and added eight points (1-7-8) in six games while serving as captain during the United States’  gold-medal run at the 2011 IIHF World Under-18 Championship.

Robbie Russo, Defenseman
Born Feb 15 1993  -- Westmont, IL
Height 6.00 -- Weight 191 -- Shoots R

Selected by New York Islanders round 4 #95 overall 2011 NHL Entry Draft

--- Regular Season ---  ---- Playoffs ----
Season   Team                   Lge    GP    G    A  Pts  PIM  GP   G   A Pts PIM
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2009-10  U.S. National Under-17 USHL   34    3   17   20   36  --  --  --  --  --
2010-11  U.S. National Under-18 USHL   24    0    6    6   11  --  --  --  --  --
2011-12  Notre Dame             CCHA   40    4   11   15   14
2012-13  Notre Dame             CCHA   41    5   18   23   40
2013-14  Notre Dame             H-East 21    4   11   15    8
2014-15  Notre Dame             H-East 40   15   26   41   20
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