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RedHawks' Josh Melnick signs contract with Dallas Stars

Matt Heckert - The Miami Student
Matt Heckert - The Miami Student

Josh Melnick is no longer a Miami RedHawk, as the senior forward signed a one-year, entry-level contract with the National Hockey League's Dallas Stars yesterday.

"What an incredible 4 years," Melnick said on Instagram. "I am beyond grateful to have been a part of the Brotherhood at Miami. The relationships and experiences are some that I'll cherish forever. I am very excited to continue my hockey career with the Dallas Stars Organization. Thank you to everyone who has helped me along the way!"

Melnick's announcement came minutes before Miami Athletics announced the firing of long-time head hockey coach Enrico Blasi, and his signing is one of three by the Stars.

North Dakota's Rhett Gardner and University of Michigan's Joseph Cecconi signed two-year, entry-level contracts yesterday, as well.

Miami hockey's season ended on Saturday after the No. 1 St. Cloud State Huskies swept the RedHawks to end their season and their National Collegiate Hockey Conference Tournament run.

"[Melnick's] a very hard worker, a very kind person," associate head coach Peter Mannino said. "When he comes everyday, he works - he's first in line at drills. [He's] not very vocal, but he's an actions kind of guy."

An undrafted prospect, the 5-foot-10 centerman finishes his collegiate career with 38 goals and 69 assists through 140 games played. Melnick is only the 52nd RedHawk player to tally 100 career points, a milestone he reached when the Brotherhood tied the Providence Friars on Jan. 5, 2019.

After suffering an undisclosed injury that forced him to miss six games this season, Melnick still led the RedHawks with 26 points (10g, 16a).

Fondly known as "Melly" to his Miami teammates and coaches, 23-year-old Melnick has proven to be adaptable and level-headed.

"He went from playing wing to center, so he had to learn to play that position," Blasi said earlier this month. "I spent a lot of time with him with that - taking faceoffs was something he had to learn on the fly. He's grown in being able to play a lot of different positions and being able to play in a lot of different situations."

Melnick reports to the Dallas Stars' American Hockey League affiliate, the Texas Stars, on an amatuer tryout for the rest of the 2018-19 season. Though Melnick played at center for much of his collegiate career, the Texas Stars list him as a right winger.

The Texas Stars play tonight at 7 p.m. against the Grand Rapids Griffins.

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