The Chicago Blackhawks have signed undrafted NCAA defenseman Nolan Valleau to a two-year, entry-level contract, which General Fanager reports is valued at the maximum $925,000 with a $92,500 signing bonus.
Valleau has just completed his freshman season playing for Bowling Green State University, where he played 39 games, collected two goals and 17 assists. The 22-year-old defender played in the USHL and NAHL prior to joining Bowling Green.
Valleau was invited to Blackhawks prospect camp and impressed enough to earn a contract. He gives the team organizational depth, as Valleau is likely to be playing for the Rockford Icehogs in the AHL next season. But the team needs the added depth with Trevor van Riemsdyk likely to be in the NHL next year and trades sending away prospects Stephen Johns and Klas Dahlbeck. The team also moved Nick Leddy last summer and lost Johnny Oduya to free agency this summer, contributing to the need for depth.
The signing also lead to an interesting observation from ESPN’s prospect expert Corey Pronman.
With the signing of Nolan Valleau, Chicago now has 21 (!) Americans in their farm system. 12 Canadians, 10 Swedes.
— Corey Pronman (@coreypronman) August 18, 2015