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Vince Hinostroza agrees to terms with Blackhawks, leaving Notre Dame early

Sophomore Vince Hinostroza is leaving the Irish early after agreeing to terms with the Blackhawks. Cal Sport Media/AP Images

Notre Dame sophomore forward Vince Hinostroza has agreed to terms on a three-year entry-level contract with the Chicago Blackhawks and will forgo his final two collegiate seasons, the team announced Saturday night.

The 20-year-old Hinostroza, who is 5-foot-9 and 180 pounds, finished his sophomore season with 11 goals and 33 assists in 42 games. He was tied for fourth in the nation in assists and tied for 11th in points when his season ended March 15. He was named to the All-Hockey East Conference first-team on Thursday.

Hinostroza was selected by the Blackhawks in the sixth round as the 169th overall pick of the 2012 NHL draft. He is the fourth player the Blackhawks have signed from their 2012 draft class. He joins Teuvo Teravainen, Dillon Fournier and Garret Ross.

Hinostroza, a right-handed shot who played center at Notre Dame, picked up his play throughout his sophomore season. He had 14 points through 20 games but recorded 29 points over his last 20. He had points in 24 of 40 games and had 14 multi-point games this past season. He had eight goals and 24 assists in 34 games as a freshman.

Blackhawks director of player development Barry Smith recently spoke about Hinostroza’s strengths.

“He’s an energetic, fearless player,” Smith said. “Competing comes natural for him. He has good hands and he has good feel, and he has a chance to get separation to create things. He wants the puck. Some guys only want it if they think they’re open. He wants it all the time.

“He’s busy. He’s around the puck. He plays a good shift. If you look at his heart rate per shift, he plays up. He’ll go to the throttle. He goes to the net. He’s just go. He doesn’t care who he’s playing against. He’s one of those street kids that just wants to play.”

Hinostroza is from Bartlett, Illinois. He played for the Chicago Mission junior program and in the USHL for the Waterloo Black Hawks. He has also represented Team USA in national competitions.

Hinostroza joins Nick Leddy, Dylan Olsen and Adam Clendening as Blackhawks prospects to sign before their senior collegiate season in the last five years.