RALEIGH, NC – Ron Francis, Director of Hockey Operations for the National Hockey League’s Carolina Hurricanes, today announced that the team has signed forward Jeremy Welsh to an entry-level contract. The one-year deal will pay Welsh $832,500 on the NHL level and $70,000 on the AHL level, along with a signing bonus of $92,500. He will join the Hurricanes in Ft. Lauderdale for the team’s final game of the 2011-12 NHL season.
“Of all of the college free agents available, we identified Jeremy as the one who most fit our organizational needs,” said Francis. “He provides another big body for us down the middle, and is a player who has shown character and leadership at the college level, in addition to scoring ability.”
Welsh, 23, recorded 27 goals, 17 assists (44 points) and 47 penalty minutes in 40 games for Union College of ECAC Hockey in 2011-12, ranking first on the team and fourth in the NCAA in goals (27). The Bayfield, Ont., native had nine points (5g, 4a) in eight postseason games for the Dutchmen, including a five-game goal-scoring streak to lead Union to its first ECAC Hockey Championship and first Frozen Four berth in school history. For his efforts, Welsh (6’3”, 210 lbs.) was named ECAC Hockey Player of the Month for March, Most Outstanding Player of the ECAC Championship and Most Outstanding Player of the NCAA East Regional in Bridgeport, CT.
Welsh completes his three-year collegiate career with 100 points (53g, 47a) in 119 games for Union. Prior to college, he played for the Oakville Blades of the Ontario Junior Hockey League, totaling 36 goals and 47 assists (83 points) in 49 regular-season games in 2008-09. In 2007-08, he helped lead the Blades to the Buckland Cup title, Dudley Hewitt Cup championship and Ontario Hockey Association championship. He also participated in the Royal Bank Cup, where he was voted best forward.