Nashville Predators sign defenseman Jack Hillen

UNIONDALE NY - DECEMBER 11: Jack Hillen #38 of the New York Islanders defends against Anthony Stewart #22 of the Atlanta Thrashers on December 11 2010 at Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale New York. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

From the Nashville Predators:

Nashville Predators President of Hockey Operations/General Manager David Poile announced today that the club has signed defenseman Jack Hillen to a one-year, two-way contract worth $650,000 at the NHL level and $105,000 at the AHL level.

Hillen, 25 (1/24/86), spent his first three professional seasons with the New York Islanders, most recently establishing career highs in goals (4) and points (22) while tying a personal best in assists (18) in 2010-11. The 5-10, 190-pound blueliner also ranked second on last season's Islanders' squad with 137 blocked shots in 64 games. In 175 career NHL contests, Hillen has 50 points (8g-42a) and 109 penalty minutes.

A native of Minnetonka, Minn., Hillen played four years at Colorado College (2004-08), highlighted by a senior season that named WCHA Defensive Player of the Year, WCHA Scholar Athlete of the Year and a First-Team All-American. Signed as a free agent by the Islanders on April 1, 2008, Hillen represented the United States at the 2010 World Championships, posting one assist in six games.


Jack Hillen

#38 / Defenseman 

5-10

190

Jan 24, 1986



GP G A P +/- PIM PPG SHG GWG
SOG PCT
2010 - Jack Hillen 64 4 18 22 -5 45 0 0 1 81 4.9

Is this another "tweener" who can add to the competition for depth spots in Nashville and/or lead the way in Milwaukee?

Here's his scouting report:

Assets
  • Possesses good offensive upside. Moves the puck quickly out of the defensive zone and is also extremely mobile.
Flaws
  • Lacks the physicality required to keep forwards honest in the defensive zone. Doesn't shoot the puck enough.
Career Potential
  • Mobile depth defenseman.

Hmm... sounds a lot like Roman Josi and/or Ryan Ellis, no? In my mind the team could use a stay-at-home, penalty killing specialist more than another guy like this, but this could be more about stocking up the Admirals.

Earlier this summer, the Islanders declined to extend a Qualifying Offer to Hillen, which is why he was an unrestricted free agent and available for the Preds to sign.

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