April 9, 2014
Notre Dame, Ind. - The number of Notre Dame hockey seniors to sign pro contracts has risen to seven as senior defensemen Kevin Lind (Homer Glen, Ill.) and Shayne Taker (Surrey, B.C.) signed amateur tryouts (ATO) with the American Hockey League affiliates of the Anaheim Ducks and the Florida Panthers on Tuesday.
Lind, a sixth-round draft choice of the Ducks in 2010, signed with the Norfolk Admirals, Anaheim's top farm team while Taker, a free agent, will begin his pro career with the Panthers' top affiliate, the San Antonio Rampage.
Norfolk is currently 36-25-2-7 on the year, good for 81 points and is just one point out of the final playoff spot in the AHL's Eastern Conference. The Admirals have six games remaining in the regular season that runs through April 19. San Antonio is 29-33-3-6 for 67 points in the Western Conference and is nine points out of the final playoff spot with six games left to play in the regular season.
Lind finished his senior season at Notre Dame as one of the team's top defensive defensemen as he led the Irish with a career-high 90 blocked shots and had a team-best +22 rating for the season. A member of the team's shutdown defensive pairing, he often faced the opponent's top scoring threats and had a great deal of success. He scored a career-high three goals this season and added seven assists for 10 points. On Sunday, the 6-3, 222-pound defenseman was named as a co-winner of the William Donald Nyrop Award as Notre Dame's top defensive player along with teammate Stephen Johns (Sr., Wampum, Pa.). For his Irish career, Lind played in 151 games and had seven goals with 22 assists for 29 points. He led the Irish in blocked shots in each of the last two seasons and was +43 over the last two years.
Taker closed out his Notre Dame career with career highs in goals (4), assists (14) and points (18) to finish second among Irish defensemen in scoring, just two points behind Johns' 20-point year. The 6-4, 208-pound blue liner had 40 shots on the season and was +5 for the year. He finished his career playing in 152 career games with eight goals and 39 assists for 47 career points.
Lind and Taker were members of a Notre Dame team that finished the year with a 23-15-2 overall record and advanced to the NCAA West Regional where their season ended on March 29th in a 4-3 overtime loss to St. Cloud State at St. Paul, Minn.
The Irish finished the year ranked fifth nationally in defense, giving up 86 goals in 40 games for a 2.15 goals-against per game during the 2013-14 season.
The defensive duo join fellow seniors Bryan Rust (Pittsburgh), T.J. Tynan (Columbus) and Johns (Chicago) to sign with NHL teams and Steven Summerhays (Ft. Wayne) and David Gerths (South Carolina) who signed with teams in the East Coast Hockey League (ECHL) within the last eight days.
To date, Johns has played in three games with the AHL's Rockford IceHogs and has scored a goal and an assist for two points and is +2 in those games. Gerths has played in three games in South Carolina and has yet to score. Summerhays is 1-0-0 with a 1.00 goals-against average and a .947 save percentage in his only game played for the Ft. Wayne Komets. Rust and Tynan have yet to play in a game for Wilkes-Barre/Scranton or Springfield, the AHL affiliates of Pittsburgh and Columbus.