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Winnipeg Jets sign University of Maine defenceman Will O'Neill to contract

Tuesday, 03.27.2012 / 2:05 PM / News

The Canadian Press

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Winnipeg Jets sign University of Maine defenceman Will O'Neill to contract

WINNIPEG - The Winnipeg Jets signed defenceman Will O'Neill to an entry-level contract Tuesday.

O'Neill will report to the club's AHL affiliate, the St. John's IceCaps, on an amateur tryout.

The 23-year-old played in 40 games with the University of Maine during the 2011-12 season, recording 33 points (three goals, 30 assists) and 68 penalty minutes.

In four seasons with the Black Bears, O'Neill had 101 points (19 goals, 82 assists) and 263 penalty minutes in 141 games.

The native of Salem, Mass., was taken by the Atlanta Thrashers in the seventh round, 210th overall, in the 2006 NHL draft.

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The biggest part for us is that it's a home game. We know how special the fans here are and how much the fan base has grown in the last decade, and how passionate they are. I don't think a lot of people around the hockey world know that or appreciate that yet, and I think that it's great that this city is getting recognition for how passionate they are about hockey.

— Washington Capitals goalie Braden Holtby on the 2015 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic