UMass Lowell outgoing senior forward Joe Gambardella has signed a two-year entry-level contract with the Edmonton Oilers.
#Oilers signed free agent F Joseph Gambardella to 2-yr, entry-lev deal which begins 17-18. First-ever UML player to win Walter Brown Award.— Frank Seravalli (@frank_seravalli) March 28, 2017
The senior alternate captain led the River Hawks in scoring this past season with 18-34-52 in 41 games, which ranked tied for 9th nationally in scoring.
Gambardella developed remarkable chemistry with linemate and fellow NHL free agent target C.J. Smith over his career at Lowell, leading to that offensive success:
While UNH's Kelleher and Northeastern's big guns have generated most of the headlines this season, Smith and Gambardella have quietly produced some big numbers of their own. Both players surpassed the century mark for points in their careers earlier this season.
"Those two compliment each other. Gambardella is more of a passer. C.J. is more of a finisher," said UMass Lowell coach Norm Bazin.
The two have been on a line with each other for the majority of three seasons now which has bred familiarity and a keen sense of where the other is going to be on the ice.
"We work really well together. There is good chemistry there. We know what we are going to do," Smith began.
"We get pucks in the corners. If you’ve ever watched Joe play, he’s always first in there and I don’t think the kid has ever lost a battle. I know he’s going to come out with the puck. I have a lot of trust in him. He knows where I’m going to end up being. It works well together," Smith continued.
Gambardella’s two-year contract with the Oilers will begin next season.