RALEIGH, NC – Ron Francis, Director of Hockey Operations for the National Hockey League’s Carolina Hurricanes, today announced that the team has signed defenseman Austin Levi to a three-year, entry-level contract. The deal will pay Levi $525,000 on the NHL level or $60,000 on the minor-league level in 2012-13, $550,000 in the NHL or $60,000 in the minors in 2013-14 and $575,000 in the NHL or $62,500 in the minor leagues in 2014-15. Levi will receive a signing bonus of $175,000.
“Austin has excellent size and has really come into his own as a defensive-defenseman in the OHL with Plymouth,” said Francis. “He is ready to begin his professional career with the Hurricanes organization next season.”
Levi, 20, is in his fourth season of junior hockey with the Plymouth Whalers of the Ontario Hockey League (OHL), and ranks second among Whaler defensemen in assists (24) and points (29). He currently has a career-best plus-21 rating for the 2011-12 season, while playing in 63 of Plymouth’s 67 games. Levi (6’3”, 192 lbs.), was born in Columbus, OH, but lists Aurora, CO, as his hometown, and was selected by the Hurricanes in the third round, 85th overall, in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft. He has totaled 68 points (14g, 54a) and 253 penalty minutes in 209 career OHL games, all with Plymouth.
(Nathan can be reached at email@example.com)