RALEIGH, NC - Don Waddell, President and General Manager of the National Hockey League's Carolina Hurricanes, today announced that the team has signed center Vasiliy Ponomarev to a three-year, entry-level contract. The deal will pay Ponomarev $700,000 at the NHL level in the first year and $750,000 at the NHL level in the subsequent two years or $80,000 at the American Hockey League (AHL) level for all three seasons. He will receive a signing bonus of $255,000.
"Vasiliy is a strong two-way player with a high hockey IQ," said Waddell. "We were excited to get a player of his caliber in the second round of the draft and believe he has a bright future."
Ponomarev, 18, was selected by the Hurricanes in the second round, 53rd overall, in the 2020 NHL Draft. The 5'10", 180-pound center registered 49 points (18g, 31a) in 57 games with the Shawinigan Cataractes of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL) last season. Ponomarev ranked fourth among QMJHL rookies in assists, fifth in points and tied for seventh in goals. Ponomarev scored a goal 6:03 into his QMJHL debut at Rouyn-Noranda (9/21/19), marking the third-fastest goal by a player in his first QMJHL game in Shawinigan history. The Moscow, Russia, native has represented his country at a number of international tournaments, including the 2017 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge, where he led the team with eight points (4g, 4a) in six games as Russia captured the gold medal. Ponomarev also helped Russia earn gold at the 2019 Hlinka Gretzky Cup. He was ranked 48th overall among North American skaters by NHL Central Scouting.