A defenseman-turned-forward in high school, Gilbert returned to defense in college but retained his offensive instincts as a mobile puck-mover. At 6-foot-2 and 202 pounds, he has provided a physical presence in his own zone during a long NHL career.
The Bloomington, Minn., native was selected by the Colorado Avalanche in the fourth round (No. 129) in the 2002 NHL Draft and traded to the Edmonton Oilers for Tommy Salo and a 2005 sixth-round draft pick on March 8, 2004. Gilbert made his NHL debut with the Oilers against the San Jose Sharks on Jan. 10, 2007. His first NHL goal (and point) on Feb. 20, 2007, against the Ottawa Senators forced overtime with 20 seconds left of a 4-3 shootout loss, and he finished the 2006-07 season with a goal and six points in 12 games.