Former Cents defenseman Dane Birks has inked his first National Hockey League contract.
Birks signed a two-year, entry level deal with the Pittsburgh Penguins, starting with the 2018-19 season. He recently completed his third season at Michigan Tech University and has posted 30 points (seven goals, 23 assists) in 117 career NCAA games.
The 22-year-old from Merritt played for the Centennials from 2012-14 and was drafted by Pittsburgh in the sixth round, 164th overall in 2013. Birks was named to the BCHL All Rookie Team in 2012-13, the same year in which he claimed the Centennials rookie of the year award. He also won a bronze medal with Canada West at the 2013 World Junior A Challenge and was named Centennials top defenseman in 2013-14.
Birks will report to the Penguins’ American Hockey League affiliate in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton this week on an amateur tryout contract.