Robbie Russo
Image: NHL

Robbie Russo


Westmont Illinois

Currently Playing In:






Eligible for draft:









4th round (95th overall), 2011


189 lbs.

Probability of Success
  • D


2008-09: Robbie Russo played for the Chicago Mission Tier 1 AAA club, scoring 5 goals and adding 17 assists for 22 points in 46 games.

2009-10: Russo joined the U.S. NTDP program, splitting his time between the U-17 national team and the NTDP team in the USHL. In 52 games for the U-17 team, Russo scored 7 goals and added 24 assists for 31 points to go along with 58 minutes in penalties. In 34 USHL games, he scored 3 goals and added 17 assists for 20 points. Russo played for the USA’s gold medal team at the 2010 World U-17 Hockey Challenge, scoring 3 goals and adding 2 assists for 5 points in 6 games.

2010-11: Russo played for the U.S. NTDP squad competing in the USHL, where he picked up 6 assists in 24 games. Russo captained the USA’s gold medal squad at the 2011 U-18 World Junior Championship, scoring 1 goal and adding 7 assists for 8 points in 6 games. Russo has committed to the University of Notre Dame for the 2011-12 season. Russo was chosen in the sixth round, 132nd overall, of the 2011 KHL Draft by Locomotiv Yaroslavl.2008-09: Russo played for the Chicago Mission Tier 1 AAA club, scoring 5 goals and adding 17 assists for 22 points in 46 games.

2011-12: Russo stepped right into the lineup for Notre Dame as a freshman – skating in all 40 games for the Fighting Irish. Russo finished one point behind junior Sam Calabrese for the team lead in points amongst defensemen with 4 goals and 11 assists and was minus-seven with 14 penalty minutes. He scored all four of his goals on the power play. Notre Dame finished eighth in the CCHA and advanced to the league tournament quarterfinals against Michigan after sweeping a first round series with Ohio State.

2012-13: Russo skated in all 41 games for Notre Dame as a sophomore. He led Fighting Irish defensemen in scoring with 5 goals and 18 assists and was +6 with 40 penalty minutes. Notre Dame captured the CCHA tournament championship after finishing second to Miami in the regular season. The Fighting Irish fell to St. Cloud State in the NCAA Midwest Regional semifinals.

2013-14: Russo skated in 21 games for Notre Dame in his junior season at Notre Dame. He scored 4 goals with 11 assists and was +9 with 8 penalty minutes for the Fighting Irish before being declared academically ineligible in January. Notre Dame finished eighth in Hockey East in its first year in the conference. The Fighting Irish upset first-place Boston College in the conference tournament and received an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament; falling to St. Cloud State, 4-3, in overtime in the NCAA West regional semifinals.

2014-15: Russo was the second-leading scorer for Notre Dame as a senior, trailing only forward Vince Hinostroza (Chicago) with 41 points. He scored 15 goals with 26 assists and was +13 with 20 penalty minutes in 40 games for the Fighting Irish. Notre Dame finished fifth in Hockey East; taking fourth-place Massachusetts-Lowell to three games in the Hockey East quarterfinals before falling 6-4 in the decisive third game and finishing 18-19-5. Russo was not signed by the Islanders, becoming an unrestricted free agent, and signed a two-year entry-level contract with Detroit in August 2015.

Talent Analysis

Russo is a very solid puck mover from the back end and is not afraid to use his body. He is also a great leader and a very hard worker. Forced to sit out the second half of the college season in 2013-14 season at Notre Dame due to academic issues, Russo appeared to use the time away as a wake up call. The former USA U18 team captain added bulk entering his senior season and according to Fighting Irish head coach Jeff Jackson "has learned to be better defensively (and is) a complete defenseman."


Russo will begin his pro career in the Detroit organization in 2015-16 after signing with the Red Wings as a free agent in August following a big senior season for Notre Dame. A product of the USA NTDP program, Russo plays a skating style and is strong in all three zones. He will likely need time adjusting from the college level to pro hockey, likely skating in the AHL, but his long-term projection is that of a middle pairing defenseman who can contribute to the attack and has some value on the power play.

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