The Nashville Predators are rewarding a longtime prospect today, by signing Mark Van Guilder to a two-way contract for the next two seasons.
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.