DETROIT – The Detroit Red Wings today agreed to terms with defenseman Robbie Russo on a two-year contract.
Russo, 24, skated in 58 games with the American Hockey League’s Grand Rapids Griffins in 2016-17, picking up 32 points (7-25-32), a plus-15 rating and 37 penalty minutes in 58 games and earning a spot at the 2017 AHL All-Star Classic. Russo also appeared in 19 postseason games with the Griffins, registering seven assists and 22 penalty minutes to help the team to its second Calder Cup championship in five seasons. The 6-foot, 195-lb., defenseman also made his NHL debut with the Red Wings on March 7 at Toronto and appeared in each of the team’s final 19 games, averaging 16:04 time on ice and recording two penalty minutes, 18 shots on goal, 24 hits and 13 blocked shots. As a first-year pro in 2015-16, Russo was named to the AHL All-Rookie Team and Second All-Star Team following a league-best plus-40 rating, in addition to 39 points (5-34-39) in 71 games. He has totaled 71 points (12-59-71), a plus-55 rating and 79 penalty minutes in 129 regular-season games for Grand Rapids and added 12 points (1-11-12) and 31 penalty minutes in 28 AHL playoff games.
Originally drafted by the New York Islanders in the fourth round (95th overall) of the 2011 NHL Entry Draft, Russo joined the Red Wings as a free agent on Aug. 16, 2015. The Westmont, Ill., native spent four seasons at the University of Notre Dame prior to signing with Detroit and served as captain in 2014-15. He posted a college career-best 41 points (15-26-41) in 40 games as a senior with the Fighting Irish, placing second on the team in points. He was named to the 2012 CCHA All-Rookie Team, when he was a teammate of Red Wings center Riley Sheahan, and was also named to the NCAA East Second All-American Team and Hockey East First All-Star Team following his senior season. Russo also spent two seasons with the U.S. National Team Development Program in Ann Arbor, Mich., from 2009-11 and has twice captured gold internationally with the United States at the 2010 IIHF World Under-17 Hockey Challenge and the 2011 IIHF World Under-18 Championship.