Milwaukee, WI–Predators President of Hockey Operations/General Manager David Poile announced today that the team has signed defenseman Marc Del Gaizo to a three-year, entry-level contract that will begin in the 2021-22 season.
Del Gaizo won the NCAA Division I national championship with UMass Amherst on Saturday, the program’s first, to cap off a 14-point (3g-11a), 27-game junior campaign. The 5-foot-10, 181-pound blueliner posted two assists and a +4 rating in four NCAA Tournament contests and closed out the 2020-21 season with six points (3g-3a) in his final nine games. Del Gaizo served as an alternate captain for the Minutemen this season and recorded a +21 rating, the fourth-best mark among collegiate defensemen.
Originally drafted by the Predators in the fourth round (109th overall) of the 2019 NHL Draft, Del Gaizo became the second prospect drafted by the organization to win an NCAA title, joining Colin Wilson, who won in 2009 with Boston University. He concluded his three-year tenure with the Minutemen with 58 points (20g-38a) in 90 games and multiple Hockey East honors, including a spot on the conference’s All-Rookie Team in 2019 and Third All-Star Team nods in 2021 and 2019. As a freshman in 2018-19, he recorded a career-high 29 points (13g-16a) and helped lead the Minutemen to the national championship game after scoring the game-winning goal in overtime against Denver in the Frozen Four semifinals. He became the first rookie defenseman in Hockey East history to score 10 goals in conference play, tied for third nationally in plus-minus (+31) and was named to the Frozen Four’s All-Tournament Team.
The Basking Ridge, N.J., native spent two full seasons skating for the USHL’s Muskegon Lumberjacks prior to enrolling at UMass Amherst, earning Second All-Star Team honors in 2017-18 after leading all league defensemen in goals with 12.