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Edmonton Oilers sign defenceman Tom Gilbert to 6-year contract

EDMONTON - The Edmonton Oilers signed Tom Gilbert to a US$24-million, six-year contract Friday that will keep the 25-year-old defenceman with the team through the 2013-14 season.

Gilbert, a six-foot-three, 210-pound native of Bloomington, Minn., played all 82 games this season.

He was second among rookie defencemen with 33 points (13-20) and led all NHL freshmen with 159 blocked shots.

Gilbert will play for the United States at next month's IIHF world hockey championship in Halifax and Quebec City.

Gilbert made his pro debut with Edmonton in 2006-07, splitting the season between the Oilers and the Wilkes-Barre Scranton Penguins of the American Hockey League.

He played four seasons with the University of Wisconsin Badgers prior to joining the Oilers organization and was a member of Wisconsin's NCAA championship team in 2005-06. He scored the winning goal in the Badgers' 2-1 victory over the Boston College Eagles in the Frozen Four championship final.

Gilbert was obtained by the Oilers from the Colorado Avalanche in exchange for Tommy Salo and Edmonton's sixth-round choice (Justin Mercier) in the 2005 draft. Gilbert was the Avalanche's fifth choice, 129th overall, in the 2002 draft.

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