The Chicago Blackhawks have signed Notre Dame sophomore center Vince Hinostroza to a NHL entry-level contract, according to media reports. Hinostroza was selected in the sixth round of the 2012 NHL Draft by the Blackhawks. A native of nearby Bartlett, Ill., Hinostroza emerged as one of the best skaters and passers in college hockey in his second season at the NCAA level.
Playing on a line with Minnesota Wild prospect Mario Lucia and Boston Bruins draft pick Anders Bjork for much of the second half, Hinostroza's play took off. Hinostroza is undersized, but he's an amazing skater who cuts well and uses his edges for great lateral mobility.
His passing ability is second to only Jack Eichel in college hockey this season. His vision and hockey IQ allows him to find teammates that not many others would find and his soft hands allowed him to fit saucer passes through tight seams.
Hinostroza, an All-Hockey East First Team performer, finished the season with 11 goals and 33 assists in 42 games played. His 33 assists was tied for fourth in the nation behind just BU's Eichel and Evan Rodrigues and Minnesota's Mike Reilly.
A product of the Waterloo Black Hawks in the USHL, Hinostroza finishes his career in a Fighting Irish uniform with 19 goals and 57 assists for 76 points in 76 games played. Hinostroza and the Fighting Irish saw their season end last weekend, losing in three games to UMass Lowell in the Hockey East quarterfinals.