The Detroit Red Wings have signed center Cameron Hillis to a professional tryout contract.
Hillis, 23, is an unrestricted free agent after the Chicago Blackhawks elected to not qualify him when his three-year entry-level contract with a $838,333 cap hit concluded. Due to it only being a PTO, he still remains an unrestricted free agent and can sign with any team, but he will also get an opportunity to play some hockey games with the Red Wings during the 2023 preseason as an audition for both Detroit and the rest of the NHL.
Hillis spent a majority of his season in the ECHL with both the Trois-Rivieres Lions and the Indy Fuel. He had two goals in three games with the Lions and stepped up the production even more with the Fuel with 14 goals, 36 assists, and 50 points in 45 games for his most productive season in professional hockey. He then got into two playoff games with the Fuel, where he had just one assist as they were swept in the first round by the Toledo Walleye. He also played 18 games in the AHL with the Rockford IceHogs, where he had just two assists.
Hillis was a third round pick of the Montreal Canadiens, selected with the 66th overall pick in the 2018 NHL draft. After three seasons in the OHL with the Guelph Storm, he spent parts of three seasons in the Canadiens organization, including playing one game in the NHL on January 1st, 2022 against the Florida Panthers, before they dealt him in October 2022 to the Blackhawks for Nicolas Beaudin. He then spent the rest of the season in the Blackhawks organization before Chicago let him walk to unrestricted free agency.
The Red Wings have had another busy offseason as they look to put themselves in the playoff picture for the first time since 2016. Along with acquiring Alex DeBrincat, Jeff Petry, and Klim Kostin via trade, they also gave several big contracts to J.T. Compher, Shayne Gostisbehere, Justin Holl, Daniel Sprong, James Reimer, and Christian Fischer in free agency. They currently have just over $5 million in cap space with no remaining restricted free agents to sign.