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Hurricanes Sign Center Nicolas Blanchard

by Ken Preston / Carolina Hurricanes

Carolina's 2005 sixth-round pick signs three-year deal

RALEIGH, NC-Jason Karmanos, Vice President and Assistant General Manager for the Carolina Hurricanes, announced today that the team has signed center Nicolas Blanchard (NIHK-o-las BLAN-shard) to a three-year contract. At the NHL level, Blanchard will earn $475,000 in each of the first two years of the contract and $500,000 in the third year, while at the minor-league level he will earn $50,000 in the first year, $55,000 in the second year and $60,000 in the third year. Blanchard also receives an $80,000 signing bonus as a part of the contract and will play the remainder of the season with the Hurricanes' top minor-league affiliate, the Albany River Rats of the American Hockey League.

"Nicolas is a very good skater who plays every shift with determination and grit," said Karmanos. "His strong work ethic and leadership qualities will be a good fit for our organization."

Blanchard, 19, recently completed his third season with Chicoutimi (SHI-coo-ta-mi) of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, posting 22 goals and 35 assists (57 points) while playing in 62 of the Saguenéens' 70 regular-season games. The Granby, Que., native also notched two assists in Chicoutimi's four postseason games. Blanchard (6'3", 192 lbs.) completes his major junior hockey career having scored 50 goals and earned 90 assists (140 points) in 191 regular-season games with Chicoutimi. The Hurricanes drafted Blanchard in the sixth round, 192nd overall, in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft.

The Carolina Hurricanes play their final regular-season road game tonight at Tampa Bay (7:30 p.m., FSN South HD, Hurricanes Radio Network) before returning to Raleigh to finish off the regular season against Atlanta and Florida on Friday and Saturday, respectively. Individual-game tickets for all Hurricanes home games are available at the RBC Center box office, all TicketMaster locations, by calling 919-834-4000 or via For information on Hurricanes ticket packages, please call 1-866-NHL-CANES or visit


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