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Bergeron, Hilbert to skate in Providence

The Providence Bruins have announced that center Patrice Bergeron and left wing Andy Hilbert have signed AHL contracts and will play with the team during the upcoming 2004-05 regular season.

“Andy and Patrice are two players that we expect to make significant contributions to our team,” said head coach Scott Gordon. “They each have excellent offensive skills and instincts, but more importantly, they are both strong competitors.”

Bergeron, a 19-year-old native of Ancienne-Lorette, Que., enters his second professional season. He was one of the most dynamic young players in the NHL last season, notching 16 goals and 23 assists for 39 points in 71 games with Boston. At 18, the 6-foot-1, 190-pound Bergeron was the youngest player in the NHL last season. He was Boston’s second pick, 45th overall, in the 2003 NHL Entry Draft.

Hilbert, a 23-year-old native of Howell, Mich., enters his fourth professional season out of the University of Michigan. He missed the first 37 games of the 2003-04 season due to a groin injury sustained during training camp, and wound up with three goals and five assists in 19 AHL games with Providence, while adding two goals in 18 contests with Boston.

Hilbert has 64 goals and 67 assists for 131 points in 155 career AHL games, all with the P-Bruins. He was named to the 2002-03 AHL All-Rookie Team and represented Providence at the 2002 and 2003 AHL All-Star Classics. Hilbert, a second-round pick by Boston (37th overall) in the 2000 NHL Entry Draft, has three goals and three assists in 38 career NHL games with the Bruins.