For two weeks, Carolina Hurricanes first round pick Noah Hanifin has played coy on whether he planned to turn professional or return to Boston College for his sophomore season. From the sounds of things, the just-completed prospect development camp may have made that choice easier.
The Hurricanes announced Saturday that they have signed Hanifin to a three-year entry level contract, ensuring that his development will continue in the professional ranks. At the NHL draft in Florida two weeks ago, it was evident that both GM Ron Francis and scouting director Tony MacDonald believed that Hanifin would benefit from leaving school and entering the Hurricanes' system. Hanifin apparently agreed, and will report to training camp in September with a good chance of making the Canes' opening-night roster.
As a former collegiate player, Hanifin is eligible for assignment to the AHL immediately. However, if he remains with the Hurricanes, he will be the third 18-year-old on the team's opening-night roster in the past six seasons, joining Jeff Skinner in 2010 and Elias Lindholm in 2013.
The release from the team is below.
‘CANES SIGN HANIFIN TO ENTRY-LEVEL CONTRACTBoston College product was the first defenseman taken in 2015 Draft
Ron Francis, Executive Vice President and General Manager of the National Hockey League’s Carolina Hurricanes, today announced that the team has signed defenseman Noah Hanifin to a three-year, entry-level contract. The deal will pay Hanifin $832,500 on the NHL level or $70,000 on the American Hockey League (AHL) level through the 2017-18 season. Hanifin also receives a signing bonus of $277,500.
"Noah has had a great week here during our prospect development camp," said Francis. "He is big, he can skate and he can move the puck. Noah fits the mold for the type of player and person we want in a Hurricanes uniform."
Hanifin, 18, completed his freshman season at Boston College in 2014-15, notching five goals and earning 18 assists (23 points) in 37 games played. The Boston, MA, native became the youngest player to ever skate with the Eagles when he played his first collegiate game at age 17 in October 2014. He finished the 2014-15 season ranked third in scoring among all National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) freshmen defensemen, and was named a Hockey East Second Team All-Star. Hanifin also was a unanimous selection to the Hockey East Pro Ambitions All-Rookie Team, and represented Boston College as a Division I New England All-Star.
Prior to joining Boston College, Hanifin (6’3", 206 lbs.) played the 2013-14 season with the United States National Team Development Program (USNTDP) Under-17 team. He recorded 33 points (8g, 25a) in 45 games with the U-17 team, and also earned 13 points (2g, 11a) in 14 games with the U-18 team. Internationally, Hanifin captained Team USA to gold at the 2014 World Under-17 Challenge, and finished tied for second among tournament defenseman as the United States won gold at the 2014 International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) U-18 World Championship.