2003 Draft’s Top-Rated Skater to Begin Season in Carolina
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| || No. 2 overall draft pick Eric Staal led the NHL in goals this preseason with seven. |
> Staal Bio
RALEIGH, N.C. (Oct. 6, 2003) – Jim Rutherford, President and General Manager of the Carolina Hurricanes, today announced that the team has signed center Eric Staal to a three-year contract. As per club policy, no terms of the deal were released.
“Eric has clearly earned a spot on the Hurricanes with his exceptional play,” said Rutherford. “It is apparent that he will play an important role with the team at a very young age.”
Staal, 18, led the NHL in goals during the preseason with seven and was tied for first among rookies with seven points. He was tied for second in the league in power-play goals with three and scored on 35 percent of his shots during exhibition play. The Hurricanes selected Staal with their first-round pick, second overall in the 2003 NHL Entry Draft in June.
Staal (6’ 3’’, 189 lbs.) scored 39 goals and added 59 assists (98 points) in 66 games last season, his second with Peterborough of the Ontario Hockey League. The Thunder Bay, Ont., native served as an alternate captain for Canada’s 2002 World under-18 championship team and won gold with Canada at the 2001 Six Nations tournament. In three junior hockey seasons, Staal recorded 81 goals, 128 assists (209 points) and 99 penalty minutes in 185 games with Peterborough.
The Hurricanes open their seventh season in North Carolina on Oct. 9 at Florida, before returning to the RBC Center for their home opener, Saturday, Oct. 11 against defending Stanley Cup champion New Jersey. Ticket packages for the 2003-04 season are available by calling 1-888-NHL-TIX1. Individual game tickets for October and November games are available at the Dodge Box Office at the RBC Center, at all TicketMaster locations or by calling TicketMaster at 919-834-4000.