The Chicago Blackhawks have signed defenseman Shawn Lalonde, the team’s second choice, 68th overall, in the 2008 National Hockey League Entry Draft, to a three-year deal.
Lalonde, 19, is currently in his fourth season with the Ontario Hockey League’s Belleville Bulls, leading team defensemen and sharing second overall on the club with 26 points (8G, 18A) in 27 games. The Orleans, Ontario, native has registered 95 assists, 137 points and 256 penalty minutes in 217 regular-season games with the Bulls over the last four years (2006-09).
Last season, Lalonde ranked second among OHL defensemen with 19 goals and ninth with 53 points in 66 regular-season games with Belleville. A member of the Eastern Conference team in the 2009 OHL All-Star Game, he held second among Bulls defensemen with 34 assists and placed fourth overall on the club with a +29 plus/minus rating during the 2008-09 regular season. Lalonde shared the lead among blueliners with three goals and ranked second with nine assists and 12 points during the club’s run to the 2009 OHL Semifinals.
Overall, Lalonde has appeared in 51 career postseason contests with Belleville, racking up 23 points (6G, 17A) and 67 penalty minutes. He helped the Bulls reach the OHL Finals and earn a berth in the 2008 Memorial Cup with nine points (two goals, seven assists) in 21 postseason tilts.
(Nathan also is a writer for Maineiacs Post to Post and the Maine Hockey Journal. He can be reached at email@example.com)