GRAND FORKS, N.D. (AP) — The NHL's Edmonton Oilers have signed University of North Dakota senior defenseman Dillon Simpson to a three-year entry level contract.
The Oilers drafted the 6-foot-2, 197-pound Edmonton native in the fourth round, 92nd overall, in the 2011 NHL Draft. Simpson's father, Craig, played for the Oilers in the late 1980s and early 1990s and won two Stanley Cups with the team.
"It's a team I grew up cheering for and loving," Simpson said in a statement. "It's a little bit surreal for me. It's been a goal of mine for a long time now to sign this first contract and it's a great opportunity, but I think more than anything, I'm excited that it's a team that I'm familiar with and that I've been a huge fan of my entire life."
Terms of the contract were not released. Simpson will finish his schooling at UND this spring rather than immediately join the Oklahoma City Barons, Edmonton's American Hockey League affiliate.
Simpson had 16 goals and 59 assists in 156 games at UND. He captained the team to the NCAA Frozen Four last season, leading the nation in blocked shots with 109.