RALEIGH, NC – Jim Rutherford, President and General Manager of the National Hockey League’s Carolina Hurricanes, today announced that the team has signed center Jeff Skinner to a three-year, entry-level contract. Beginning with his first full professional season, the contract will pay Skinner $810,000 per season at the NHL level or $67,500 per season at the minor-league level. Skinner receives a $270,000 signing bonus as a part of the contract.
“Jeff was one of the OHL’s top forwards last season and really stood out at the prospects tournament in Michigan,” said Rutherford. “He’s an exciting, young player and an important part of the future for the Hurricanes.”
Skinner, 18, finished the 2009-10 season ranked second in the Ontario Hockey League (OHL) with 50 goals, and ranked seventh in the OHL with 40 assists while playing in 64 games with the Kitchener Rangers. The Markham, Ont., native ranked tied for first in OHL playoff goals (20), and second in OHL playoff points (33), as Kitchener won two postseason series before falling to the Windsor Spitfires in the Western Conference Finals.
The Hurricanes selected Skinner (5’10”, 193 lbs.) in the first round, seventh overall, of the 2010 NHL Entry Draft. He played for Team Orr in the 2010 Canadian Hockey League Top Prospects Game, and was named Most Valuable Player after picking up a goal and an assist in the contest. Skinner also played for the gold medal-winning Team Ontario at the 2009 World Under-17 Challenge, scoring the game-winning goal against Russia in the championship final.
Under the guidelines of the NHL’s Collective Bargaining Agreement, Skinner may still be reassigned to his junior hockey team, Kitchener, but may not be assigned to the Hurricanes’ American Hockey League (AHL) affiliate, the Charlotte Checkers.