At 29 years old, Van Guilder is long past the age when most players make their NHL debut, but sometimes an older, experienced player makes a better fit as a depth forward. In a way, this is somewhat reminiscent of when the Preds signed Joel Ward back in 2008. Ward was 27 at the time, and had played only 11 NHL games with Minnesota after a long developmental road that included Canadian college hockey as well as professional roller hockey.
Can Van Guilder provide a steady hand as a depth winger much like Ward surprisingly did? Even if he doesn't, he should easily pass through waivers and continue leading the way in Milwaukee as he has for a few years now. Think of him as Chris Mueller, but for winger depth rather than center.
This came from the Preds:
Nashville Predators President of Hockey Operations/General Manager David Poile announced today that the club has signed forward Mark Van Guilder to a two-year, two-way contract worth $550,000 at the NHL level and $80,000 at the AHL level in 2013-14, and $550,000 at the NHL level and $85,000 at the AHL level in 2014-15.
Van Guilder, 29 (1/17/84), played his fourth season for the Milwaukee Admirals in 2012-13, ranking fifth on the team in goals, and tying for fifth in points (14g-18a-32pts). The Roseville, Minn., was also named the Admirals Man of the Year, and a finalist for the Yanick Dupre Memorial Award, for his outstanding contributions to the Milwaukee community for the third consecutive season in 2012-13. In 241 career AHL contests since 2008-09, Van Guilder has 84 points (36g-48a).
The 6-1, 186-pound winger never missed a game during four seasons at the University of Notre Dame, amassing 98 points (42g-56a) in 163 games. Van Guilder captained the Irish to the 2008 NCAA National Championship Game as a senior, and was a 2008 Lowe's Senior CLASS Second-Team All-American and one of 10 finalists for the Lowes Senior CLASS Award.