The Detroit Red Wings have added another prospect to the system signing 21-year-old defenceman Dan Renouf to a two-year contract that will begin next season.
While Renouf wasn’t the highest profile college free-agent out there, a lot of that comes from the fact that he isn’t a senior. Renouf opted to not play out his last year with the Maine Black Bears, going pro faster than he had to. SB Nation’s College Hockey Blog did have a bit of a suspicion that he could make the jump back in October, though, and listed him as one of the top five available sophomores and juniors. Here’s what they had to say about him:
Dan Renouf, Jr., Left Defense, Maine – The Pickering, Ontario native made huge strides last season as a sophomore and he seems to have picked up right where he left off. A Hill Academy product, the six-foot-two blue liner has good mobility. He has a good pivot and is responsible in his own zone. He has a good stick and can be physical, but most importantly, he doesn’t get beaten often. He keeps it simple and generally is mistake-free.
Prior to joining Maine, Renouf started the serious part of his journey with a brief Junior-A appearance in Whitby before deciding to get a head start on being a Student-Athlete at The Hill Academy just north of Toronto, Canada, a school that has recently been part of the development of prospects such as Mitch Marner, Michael Dal Colle, Brendan Lemieux, and Nikita Korostelev.
After a season there, Renouf spent two years playing for the Youngstown Phantoms of the USHL, where he had 11 goals and 43 points in 115 games. From there, he headed to the University of Maine, where he dropped the fist-throwing component of his game and focused on shutting down his opponents while chipping in when need be. In his 111 game NCAA career, Renouf picked up 10 goals and 38 points and was a +14.
— Black Bear Hockey (@MaineIceHockey) November 23, 2015
To avoid burning the first year of his deal and get him adjusted to playing professional, Renouf will play out the remainder of the season with the Grand Rapids Griffins. Given the circumstances and timing of his signing, Renouf will be eligible to play in the Calder Cup Playoffs if need be, though we’ll see if he’s quite ready for it after he gets a few games under his belt. Regardless of whether he stays with the Griffins or makes the Red Wings out of camp, Renouf will begin burning contract time next season.