By Phil Anastasia
Buddy Robinson called it "a dream come true."
Robinson, a Bellmawr resident and Gloucester Catholic graduate, has signed a three-year contract with the Ottawa Senators of the NHL.
Robinson, who recently finished his sophomore season with Lake Superior State University in Sault Ste. Marie, Mich., said he will report to the Senators' American Hockey League affiliate in Binghamton, N.Y., on Wednesday.
"It all happened pretty quick," Robinson, 21, said. "They invited me up for a visit (to Ottawa) and they offered me a contract and I decided it was the best opportunity for me."
Robinson said he signed with the Senators on Friday. The NHL team announced the deal on Monday.
Robinson was a star player at Gloucester Catholic on a team that featured Boston College sophomore John Gaudreau, a Calgary Flames prospect who helped the United States to the U-20 World Junior Championship in January.
Robinson, a 6-5, 235-pound forward, played parts of two seasons for the Hamilton Red Wings of the Tier II Ontario Junior Hockey League, generating 61 points (26 goals, 35 assists) in 81 games before enrolling in Lake Superior State.
In two collegiate seasons, Robinson collected 26 points (13 goals, 13 assists) and 85 penalty minutes in 77 games.
Robinson said it was his lifelong goal to play in the NHL but that he knows he has a lot of work ahead of him to take that final step.
"You always dream it could happen but you but you don't really think it's possible," Robinson said. "This has happened so fast for me. But I know this is just the beginning. I know I have a lot of hard work ahead of me."