Minnesota Wild general manager Chuck Fletcher announced Wednesday that the club has signed left wing Andy Hilbert to a 2009-10 contract and assigned him to the Houston Aeros of the American Hockey League (AHL).
The Wild also assigned center Nathan Smith to the Houston Aeros.
Hilbert, 28, was invited to Wild training camp on a tryout and appeared in six preseason games with Minnesota. The 5-foot-11, 184-pound forward has collected 104 points (42 goals, 62 assists) in 303 NHL contests in parts of six seasons with Boston, Chicago, Pittsburgh and the New York Islanders. He recorded a career-high 11 goals and added 16 assists in 67 games with the Islanders in 2008-09.
Hilbert has played 239 games in the AHL with Norfolk and Providence, totaling 104 goals and 113 assists for 217 points. The three-time AHL All-Star (2002, 2003, 2005) set AHL career highs with 37 goals, 42 assists and 79 points for Providence in 2004-05, and added 21 points in 17 games that postseason.
Hilbert has represented the United States in three World Junior Championships (1999, 2000, 2001) and three World Championships (2002, 2004, 2006). The native of Lansing, Mich., played two seasons at the University of Michigan (1999-2001) and was named to the CCHA First All-Star Team in 2001. Hilbert was also named to the AHL All-Rookie Team in 2002 and the AHL Second All-Star Team in 2005.
He was originally selected by the Boston Bruins in the second round (37th overall) of the 2000 NHL Entry Draft.
Smith, 27, spent last season with the Lake Erie Monsters, registering six goals and 10 assists in 44 games. In 405 career AHL contests with Lake Erie, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton and Manitoba, Smith has tallied 72 goals and 96 assists for 168 points.
Smith captained the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins to the Calder Cup Finals in 2008, posting career highs in goals (22), assists (28) and points (50) in the regular season and adding seven goals and 11 assists in 22 playoff games.
A native of Strathcona, Alta., Smith was a first-round draft choice by Vancouver in 2000.