Dylan Samberg, a defenseman who helped Minnesota Duluth win back-to-back NCAA championships, will forgo his senior season with the Bulldogs and has signed a three-year entry level contract with the Winnipeg Jets, the NHL team announced Tuesday.
Samberg’s contract has an average annual value of $1.175 million and will begin in the 2020-21 season.
Samberg, 21, was a second-round draft pick (43rd overall) by the Jets in 2017. He finished his junior season at UMD with one goal and 20 assists and a plus-17 rating in 28 games, and had nine goals and 44 assists in his Bulldogs career. After helping Hermantown win back-to-back Class 1A high school state championships, Samberg joined the Bulldogs in 2017-18 and quickly became a fixture on the blue line, manning the left point on power plays and blocking a team-high 76 shots. As a sophomore, his plus-22 rating was the best on the team.
The 6-4, 215-pounder also played for Team USA in two World Junior Championships, earning a bronze medal in 2018 and a silver in 2019.
Samberg is the third member of the 2019-20 Bulldogs to leave early for professional hockey since the season ended early on March 12 because of the coronavirus pandemic. Junior defenseman Scott Perunovich, a Hobey Baker Award finalist, and junior forward Justin Richards signed with the St. Louis and New York Rangers organizations, respectively.