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Carolina Hurricanes sign first rounder Jeff Skinner to entry-level deal

2010 NHL Draft Portraits

poses for a portrait during the 2010 NHL Entry Draft at Staples Center on June 25, 2010 in Los Angeles, California.

Harry How

The Carolina Hurricanes signed Jeff Skinner today, locking up the seventh pick of the 2010 NHL Entry Draft to a three-year contract.

TSN shares the terms of the deal.

He will be paid $810,000 per season at the NHL level or $67,500 per year at the minor league level, and also received a $270,000 signing bonus.

The 18-year-old Ontario native ranked second in the Ontario Hockey League with 50 goals last season and added 40 assists for 90 points in 64 games for the Kitchener Rangers. He added 20 goals and 33 points in the OHL playoffs.

“Jeff was one of the OHL’s top forwards last season and really stood out at the prospects tournament in Michigan,” said Hurricanes president and GM Jim Rutherford. “He’s an exciting, young player and an important part of the future for the Hurricanes.”

As Joe reported a week ago, Rutherford said that Skinner will get a real shot to make the team right out of the draft this season.

After missing the playoffs amid a really rough season last year, the Hurricanes also let one of their most productive forwards Ray Whitney go, so there’s definitely some space for new blood. Skinner certainly isn’t an automatic fit on the big club, but this should be a big training camp for the Canes prospect. This should be an interesting story to watch as October 7 approaches.