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Carolina Hurricanes sign Foegele, Smallman to entry-level contracts

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Two players expected to make deep postseason runs have signed their first deals with the Canes.

Warren Foegele (foreground) is one of two prospects to sign an entry-level contract with the Hurricanes.
Jamie Kellner

The Carolina Hurricanes on Friday signed a pair of players, left wing Warren Foegele and right wing Spencer Smallman, to entry level contracts. Both players will remain with their junior clubs through their postseason runs, and will be eligible to join the Charlotte Checkers at the conclusion of their seasons presuming the Checkers are still playing.

Foegele, the Canes’ third-round pick from the 2014 draft, becomes the final player from that draft class to sign a contract with the Hurricanes. His contract clock was paused because of the time he spent at New Hampshire before joining the Kingston Frontenacs early in the 2015-16 season. Foegele was traded to the Erie Otters on January 2 of this year and has scored at a point-per-game clip between the two clubs, with combined totals of 27 goals, 36 assists and 63 points in 61 games this season. His Otters just completed a first-round sweep of the Sarnia Sting in the OHL playoffs.

Smallman was a fifth-round pick in the 2015 NHL Draft. He has served as the captain of the Saint John Sea Dogs for the past two seasons, and was joined on the Sea Dogs at the QMJHL trade deadline this season by fellow Canes prospects Julien Gauthier and Callum Booth. Smallman has also put up career-high totals of 30 goals, 49 assists and 79 points this season. The Sea Dogs also recently swept their first round series, ousting the Rimouski Oceanic from the QMJHL playoffs. Their second round series will begin next Friday.

His signing leaves seventh-round pick Steven Lorentz as the only player remaining from the 2015 draft that faces a June 1 deadline to sign an entry-level deal or return to the draft pool. Two other players, Luke Stevens and David Cotton, are playing college hockey and the Canes will retain their rights until the conclusion of their college careers.

The releases from the team are below.

CANES, FOEGELE AGREE TO ENTRY-LEVEL CONTRACT
Winger netted 27 goals in first full OHL season in 2016-17

Ron Francis, Executive Vice President and General Manager of the National Hockey League’s Carolina Hurricanes, today announced that the team has agreed to terms with left wing Warren Foegele (FOE-guhl) on a three-year, entry-level contract. The deal will pay Foegele $650,000 on the NHL level in 2017-18 and 2018-19 and $700,000 in 2019-20. He will be paid $70,000 per season on the American Hockey League (AHL) level, and receives a signing bonus of $240,000.

“Warren had an impressive rookies’ camp last September,” said Francis. “He has continues to improve his overall game and should help Erie challenge for a championship this spring.”

Foegele, 20, established Ontario Hockey League (OHL) career highs in goals (27), assists (36) and points (63) this season, splitting the year between Kingston and Erie. The Markham, Ont., native was acquired by the Otters on Jan. 2, and has notched 16 goals and 16 assists (32 points) in 33 games for first-place Erie. His combined 27 goals ranked third among Otters skaters for the season. Foegele totaled six points (2g, 4a) in Erie’s four-game sweep of Sarnia in the first round of the 2017 OHL playoffs.

The Hurricanes’ third-round selection, 67th overall, in the 2014 NHL Draft, Foegele (6’2”. 190 lbs.) played 39 collegiate games at New Hampshire before joining the OHL, and was a teammate of Hurricanes defenseman Brett Pesce with the Wildcats in 2014-15. He totaled 111 points (40g, 71a) in 113 career OHL regular-season games with Kingston and Erie.

HURRICANES AGREE TO TERMS WITH SMALLMAN
Forward set QMJHL career highs in goals, assists and points in 2016-17

Ron Francis, Executive Vice President and General Manager of the National Hockey League’s Carolina Hurricanes, today announced that the team has agreed to terms with right wing Spencer Smallman on a three-year, entry-level contract. On the NHL level, the deal will pay Smallman $650,000 in 2017-18 and 2018-19 and $700,000 in 2019-20. On the AHL level, he will be paid $65,000 in 2017-18 and $70,000 in 2018-19 and 2019-20, and he receives a signing bonus of $225,000.

“Spencer took a big step forward this season,” said Francis. “He’s been in a leadership role for his team for the last three years, and helped Saint John to the best record in the Quebec League this year.”

Smallman, 20, established career highs in goals (30), assists (49) and points (79) for the Saint John Sea Dogs of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL) this season. Born in Summerside, P.E.I., but raised in Fredericton, N.B., Smallman ranked second among Sea Dogs skaters in assists, third in points and fourth in goals, and led the team with 38 points (14g, 24a) on the power play. Smallman had three goals and two assists (5 points) during Saint John’s four-game sweep of Rimouski in the first round of the QMJHL playoffs.

Smallman (6’1”, 200 lbs.) is Saint John’s all-time leader in career regular-season games played, and has served as the team’s captain for the past two seasons. A fifth-round pick, 138th overall, by the Hurricanes in the 2015 NHL Draft, he totaled 223 points (86g, 137a) and 223 penalty minutes in 293 career regular-season games for the Sea Dogs. His teammates with St. John include Hurricanes’ 2016 first-round selection Julien Gauthier and 2015 fourth-round pick Callum Booth.