The Edmonton Oilers
have signed Tom Gilbert to a six-year contract that will keep the 25-year-old defenceman with the team through the 2013-14 season.
The 6’3”, 210-pound native of Bloomington, Minnesota enjoyed an outstanding rookie season with the Oilers in 2007-08. One of five Oilers to appear in all 82 games, Gilbert finished eighth on the Edmonton scoring list and first among defencemen with 13 goals and 20 assists for 33 points. He ranked eighth in both goals and assists and had three powerplay goals and one game winning goal.
Gilbert was one of three Oilers to finish in the top ten in scoring among NHL rookies as he was the 10th highest scorer among league freshmen and second among first-year defencemen with his 33 points. He was among the NHL rookie leaders in several categories, finishing ninth in goals, 12th in assists, 10th in powerplay goals (3), 12th in powerplay assists (6) and powerplay points (3-6-9), first in shorthanded assists (2), third in shorthanded scoring (0-2-2) and fourth in shooting percentage (13.3%; 13-98). He finished the season with 159 blocked shots to lead NHL rookies and place 11th in the NHL.
He established two new Edmonton rookie scoring records during the season. His 13 goals broke the previous record for most goals by a rookie defencemen shared by Paul Coffey
and Marc-Andre Bergeron
, who scored nine times in 1980-81 and 2003-04, respectively. On March 28th, Gilbert scored a goal and an assist at Colorado to give him 33 points and break the previous team record of 32 points set by Coffey in 1980-81. Coffey scored 9-23-32 in 74 games during his first NHL season.
Named the Oilers “Defenceman of the Year” in a vote of the Edmonton sports media, Gilbert was named to Team USA for the upcoming 2008 IIHF World Championship tournament to be held in Halifax and Quebec City in May.
Gilbert made his professional debut with Edmonton in 2006-07, splitting the season between the Oilers and the Wilkes-Barre Scranton Penguins
of the American Hockey League.
He played four seasons with the University of Wisconsin Badgers prior to joining the Oilers organization and was a member of Wisconsin’s NCAA championship team in 2005-06. He scored the winning goal in the Badgers’ 2-1 victory over the Boston College Eagles in the Frozen Four championship final.
Gilbert was obtained by the Oilers from the Colorado Avalanche
in exchange for Tommy Salo
and Edmonton’s sixth round choice (Justin Mercier) in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft on March 8, 2004. He was the Avalanche’s fifth choice, 129th overall, in the 2002 Entry Draft.