Defenseman Dylan Samberg won two NCAA National Championships at the University of Minnesota-Duluth and has now wrapped up his college career by signing with the Winnipeg Jets, who selected him during the 2017 NHL Draft.
Samberg’s final impressions ahead of the draft were made as a member of the Waterloo Black Hawks. In the closing weeks of the 2016/17 USHL regular season, the Hermantown, Minnesota, native delivered a goal and an assist during a half dozen games for Waterloo. Samberg went on to appear in all eight of the Black Hawks’ playoff games that spring, notching a goal and two assists while also recording a +3 plus/minus differential.
Winnipeg then chose the 6-foot-3-inch blue-liner with the 43rd overall pick midway through the second round. Samberg had been ranked 67th among North American skaters by NHL Central Scouting in the rankings released before the USHL playoffs.
UMD won college hockey’s championship in both Samberg’s freshman and sophomore season. Completing his junior year last month, the 21-year-old played in 109 games as a Bulldog with nine goals and 44 assists. Samberg was +44 at the college level. Minnesota-Duluth earned a combined 76-37-7 record during his time on the roster. Due in part to COVID-19, Samberg holds the rare distinction of having been on a team which won its final game each of his three years in school.
In addition to his experiences for the Bulldogs, Samberg was twice chosen to represent the United States during the World Junior Championships. The U.S. won medals in both years, taking bronze in 2018 and silver in 2019. Samberg made 14 total appearances in the competition with a goal, five assists and a +13 mark.
Since the Jets returned to Winnipeg, Samberg is one of two Black Hawks players to have been drafted by the organization. He was joined by goaltender Jared Moe in 2018.
Samberg’s Winnipeg contract is for three seasons. Late last month, another pair of Black Hawks alumni also signed their first NHL deals: David Cotton with the Carolina Hurricanes and Tom Novak with the Nashville Predators.