April 9, 2012

Columbus Blue Jackets Release

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Miami University senior defenseman Will Weber joined the rest of his class Friday evening in signing his first professional contract as the Columbus Blue Jackets of the National Hockey League inked him to a two-year entry level contract, Blue Jackets General Manager Scott Howson announced.

Weber was a second round draft pick of the Blue Jackets (53rd overall) in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft. His contract will not start until next year, however, as Columbus ended its season Saturday. Should Weber reports to the Blue Jackets’ American Hockey League affiliate, the Springfield Falcons, he would join classmate Trent Vogelhuber, another Columbus draft pick who signed with the Falcons last week. Springfield has just two games left in the regular season, however.

Weber (Gaylord, Mich.) was a captain for the RedHawks this past season, missing only one game while playing in 40 contests. He chipped in four assists while posting a +3 rating, going against some of the top forwards in the country. He collected 29 penalties for 69 minutes, both of which were team highs. Weber also totaled 63 blocked shots this year, which was second on the team.

For his career, Weber appeared in 154 games while tallying 30 points on five goals and 25 assists. He anchored Miami’s top defensive pair for much of his career. The 6-4 bruiser logged a +29 rating while totaling 115 penalties for 263 minutes, which ranks sixth in school history, during his time in Oxford. He was an assistant captain in 2010-11 as a junior when he was also named to the CCHA All-Tournament Team and notched a career-high 11 points. As a sophomore he won the CCHA’s Best Defensive Defenseman Award and scored the lone game-winning goal of his career. That year he also played in a career-high 43 games and had a career-best +12 rating.

With Weber signing a contract, nine of Miami’s 10 seniors from the 2011-12 class have now inked professional deals, including four to NHL contracts. A total of five RedHawks have now signed NHL deals since the season ended in late March as junior forward Reilly Smith signed with the Dallas Stars March 25 and played in three NHL games this year while defensemen Cameron Schilling (Washington Capitals) and Chris Wideman (Ottawa Senators) also signed NHL deals as did goalie Connor Knapp (Buffalo Sabres). A total of 21 RedHawks have now signed NHL contracts since 2000, including Weber.