NEWARK, NJ — Former Michigan Tech hockey player Blake Pietila signed a two-year, entry-level contract with the New Jersey Devils of the National Hockey League it was announced today by the Devils organization. He becomes the second player from the Huskies’ 2014-15 senior class to ink an NHL deal; Tanner Kero signed with the Chicago Blackhawks organization last month.
Pietila is coming off a four-year career at Michigan Tech that saw him amass 107 career points on 46 goals and 61 assists. He posted 14 goals and 16 assists during his senior season for career-best 30 points while helping Michigan Tech to a 29-10-2 record and NCAA Tournament berth. The 5-11, 200-pound forward played in 153 career games for the Huskies and served as team captain in 2014-15. He also won a gold medal with Team USA at the 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship in Ufa, Russia.
“I’m fortunate to get this opportunity,” he said of signing the professional contract. “I’ve been looking forward to joining the Devils since being drafted, and the process went smoothly.
“Michigan Tech was the best four years of my life. I can’t thank the coaching staff, teammates and everyone else there enough for the opportunity to excel at hockey and continue schooling. It’s great to have a degree to fall back on.”
A native of Brighton, Mich., Pietila completed his bachelor’s degree in marketing and graduated earlier this month. He has returned to his hometown to work and train this summer, having fully recovered from a leg injury that kept him out of Tech’s NCAA Tournament game vs. St. Cloud State on Mar. 27.
Pietila will attend the Devils’ player development camp in early July, then enter fall training camp working to earn a spot with either the Devils or their American Hockey League affiliate, the Albany Devils. The 22-year-old Pietila was selected by the Devils organization in the fifth round of the 2011 NHL Entry Draft.
(COURTESY MICHIGAN TECH ATHLETICS)