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Predators sign Hillen to two-way deal

The Nashville Predators, parent club of the AHL’s Milwaukee Admirals, announced on Monday that they have signed defenseman Jack Hillen to a one-year, two-way contract.

Hillen spent his first three professional seasons with the New York Islanders, most recently establishing career highs in goals (4) and points (22) while tying a personal best in assists (18) in 2010-11. The 5-foot-10, 190-pound blueliner also ranked second on last season’s Islanders squad with 137 blocked shots in 64 games. In 175 career NHL contests, Hillen has 50 points (8g, 42a) and 109 penalty minutes.

A native of Minnetonka, Minn., Hillen saw time in the AHL with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers during his rookie season in 2008-09, notching four goals and 13 assists for 17 points in 33 games.

Hillen, 25, played four years at Colorado College (2004-08), highlighted by a senior season that named WCHA Defensive Player of the Year, WCHA Scholar Athlete of the Year and a First-Team All-American. Originally signed as a free agent by the Islanders on Apr. 1, 2008, Hillen represented the United States at the 2010 World Championships, posting one assist in six games.