Detroit had some success with collegiate free agent defensmen a few years ago with Danny DeKeyser, so why not try it again?
On Thursday, the club announced it had reached an agreement with University of Maine product Dan Renouf — a two-year, entry-level contract that will kick in next season.
For the remainder of this year, Renouf — an undrafted free agent — will play with AHL Grand Rapids on an amateur tryout basis.
Renouf, 21, has spent the last three years with Maine, and led the team in blueliner scoring this season with 15 points in 38 games. At 6-foot-3 and 208 pounds, the junior has good size and will look to follow in the footsteps of a former Maine teammate and d-man — Ben Hutton, who skated alongside Renouf for the Black Bears last season.
Hutton is in the midst of a banner rookie campaign in Vancouver. The former fifth-round pick currently sits third among all NHL freshmen blueliners in points, with 22, while averaging 19:23 TOI per night.