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Boychuk Signs Three-Year Deal

Saturday, 10.4.2008 / 10:56 AM ET / Tracking the Storm
By Paul Branecky
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Boychuk Signs Three-Year Deal

Happy 19th birthday, Zach Boychuk.

The Hurricanes’ first-round choice in this past summer’s draft signed his first pro contract on Saturday – a three-year deal identical in its basic terms to the one fellow prospect Brandon Sutter signed in March.

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”That has to be near the top, that’s for sure,” said Boychuk of where his new deal ranks on his all-time birthday present list.  “I’ve had some good presents in the past, but I don’t know if they can top this one.”

The contract gives Boychuk a chance to make the Hurricanes out of training camp, despite not yet appearing in an exhibition game while healing from a wrist fracture he suffered in last season’s WHL playoffs with the Lethbridge Hurricanes.

It’s been kind of a whirlwind camp for Boychuk.  Initially not expected to heal fast enough from his mid-July surgery in time to shoot or stickhandle at all, he was really just here for the experience.

He was cleared to practice sooner than expected, albeit without contact, and wowed the organization with his skills in practice.  Just when it looked like he might get in to the Canes’ September 28 game against the Flyers, he needed to have a surgically-inserted pin removed from his wrist a few days later, forcing him to avoid contact for another 14 days.

”It’s pretty crazy,” he said.  “I didn’t expect any of this to happen.  I didn’t expect get cleared so early in the beginning, and once I started practicing with the guys I started feeling pretty good.  Hopefully I showed them a few things that I can play at this level.”

He hasn’t practiced in any capacity with the team since his latest procedure, and says he should be ready to play in just over a week. 

Now, the Hurricanes must decide what to do with him going forward.  He could play up to nine games with the Hurricanes (his 10th would put him over the limit, to correct an earlier post) before losing a year on his contract, so the Canes may decide to try him out for that period of time before returning him to his junior club.

”We haven’t talked too much about what the plan for my future is yet,” said Boychuk.  “I know they just wanted to get that contract out of the way and get it signed, and I really wanted to get that done.  Now I can really focus on rehabbing my wrist and getting it up to strength, and hopefully I get the chance to play some games.”

Practice Notes from 10/4:

  • Rod Brind’Amour and Ray Whitney participated fully on their expected lines and look fine, making me think they’ll be ready to go for tomorrow’s game.

    Coach Laviolette said Brind’Amour has been medically cleared to play, and the team is thinking about using him tomorrow night.

    ”There’s a good possibility something like that might happen,” said Laviolette.
  • Patrick Eaves practiced fully after missing Friday’s session with a bruise he picked up in Thursday’s game, although not on a scoring line as you might expect (see below).  Joe Jensen sat out with a hip injury he sustained in Friday’s practice.  Boychuk, Tim Conboy and Tuomo Ruutu also did not participate.

  • Coach Laviolette a few weeks ago that he might try Matt Cullen on the wing, and he’s played on the right side of Eric Staal and Whitney’s line in the last few practices.  Here are the full lines from Saturday’s session.

    Whitney – Staal – Cullen
    Samsonov – Brind’Amour – LaRose
    Bayda – Sutter – Walker
    Eaves – LaCouture – Brookbank/Gillies

    Gleason – Pitkanen
    Wallin – Corvo
    Seidenberg – Kaberle
    Babchuk – Melichar

  • Laviolette said yesterday that he plans to use Cam Ward for the full game tomorrow.

  • The team practiced in black helmets, black pants and black socks that they’ll wear with the new alternate uniform for the first time.  They still wore their usual practice jerseys, however.

SCHEDULE

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AWAY
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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - WSH 82 56 18 8 252 193 120
2 x - PIT 82 48 26 8 245 203 104
3 y - FLA 82 47 26 9 239 203 103
4 x - NYR 82 46 27 9 236 217 101
5 x - NYI 82 45 27 10 232 216 100
6 x - TBL 82 46 31 5 227 201 97
7 x - PHI 82 41 27 14 214 218 96
8 x - DET 82 41 30 11 211 224 93
9 BOS 82 42 31 9 240 230 93
10 CAR 82 35 31 16 198 226 86
11 OTT 82 38 35 9 236 247 85
12 NJD 82 38 36 8 184 208 84
13 MTL 82 38 38 6 221 236 82
14 BUF 82 35 36 11 201 222 81
15 CBJ 82 34 40 8 219 252 76
16 TOR 82 29 42 11 198 246 69

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Skinner 82 28 23 -2 51
V. Rask 80 21 27 -6 48
J. Staal 82 20 28 6 48
E. Lindholm 82 11 28 -23 39
J. Faulk 64 16 21 -22 37
K. Versteeg 63 11 22 -6 33
E. Staal 63 10 23 -3 33
J. Nordstrom 71 10 14 1 24
A. Nestrasil 55 9 14 4 23
R. Nash 64 9 13 -5 22
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Ward 23 17 10 .909 2.41
E. Lack 12 14 6 .901 2.81