April 11, 2011
Notre Dame, Ind. – Notre Dame senior defenseman Joe Lavin (Shrewsbury, Mass.) has signed a two-year contract with the Chicago Blackhawks that will begin with the start of the 2011-12 campaign, the Blackhawks announced on Monday afternoon.
Lavin had signed an amateur tryout contract with the Blackhawks’ American Hockey League affiliate, the Rockford Icehogs on April 9 and played the final two regular season games. In those two contests, Lavin had one assist and four minutes in penalties. Rockford did not make the AHL playoffs, so the Icehogs’ season is now over.
Joining Lavin in signing an amateur tryout last Saturday was teammate Ben Ryan (Sr., Brighton, Mich.) who signed to play with the Milwaukee Admirals of the AHL, the top farm club of the Nashville Predators. In two games with the Admirals, Ryan had one assist while playing on a line with former Irish player Michael Bartlett `07. Milwaukee currently has four Notre Dame players on its roster – Ryan, Bartlett, Ryan Thang `10 and Mark Van Guilder `08. The Admirals open the AHL playoffs on Thursday, April 14 at home against the Texas Stars and Ryan is expected to be in the lineup.
The Chicago Blackhawks drafted Lavin in the fifth round, 126th overall of the 2007 NHL Entry Draft. He played his first year-and-a-half of college hockey at Providence College before transferring to Notre Dame. In between he played parts of two seasons with the Omaha Lancers in the United States Hockey League. In 48 games at Providence, Lavin had no goals and nine assists for nine points. In 57 games at Omaha, over the last half of 2008-09 and the first half of 2009-10, he had 12 goals and 28 assists for 40 points.
The 6-3, 200-pound blueliner joined the Irish in January of 2010 and became a regular in the lineup, playing the final 18 games of that season with three goals and seven assists for 10 points. As a senior this season, Lavin served as Notre Dame’s captain, playing in all 44 games as the Irish advanced to the NCAA Frozen Four where they fell in the semifinals to Minnesota-Duluth. Lavin was second among Notre Dame defensemen in scoring with six goals and 11 assists for 17 points this season. Among his six goals were two power-play markers, two short-handed tallies and one game winner. In 62 career games with the Irish, Lavin had nine goals and 18 assists for 27 points.
Senior center Ben Ryan is a member of the AHL’s Milwaukee Admirals for the 2011 AHL Playoffs.
Ryan was a four-year regular at Notre Dame at center and served as an alternate captain for the Irish as a senior. The Nashville Predators selected him in the fourth round, 114th overall of the 2007 NHL Entry Draft while playing for the Des Moines Buccaneers of the USHL. As a senior this season, Ryan was sixth on the team in scoring with six goals and 19 assists for 25 points. He had two power-play goals and one game winner while being +9 on the year. In four seasons, the 5-11, 197-pound center played in 159 career games with 35 goals and 62 assists for 97 points. During those four years he scored 11 power-play goals and had eight game-winning goals. In those four seasons, Ryan was a member of one CCHA regular season championship team (2009) and one CCHA playoff championship squad (2009), played in three NCAA tournaments (2008, 2009 and 2011) and was a member of two NCAA Frozen Four teams (2008 and 2011).
Notre Dame finished the 2010-11 season with a record of 25-14-5 overall and advanced to the second Frozen Four in the program’s 43-year history. The Irish finished the year ranked fourth in both the USA Today/American Hockey Magazine and USCHO.com final polls.