RALEIGH, NC – Jason Karmanos, Vice President and Assistant General Manager of the National Hockey League’s Carolina Hurricanes, today announced that the team has signed free-agent defenseman Beau Schmitz to a three-year, entry-level contract. The deal will pay Schmitz $525,000 per year at the NHL level, or $50,000 per year at the minor-league level, as well as a $50,000 signing bonus.
“Beau had an exceptional overage season with Plymouth,” said Karmanos. “His game matured both offensively and defensively, and we are excited to add a character individual like him to our organization.”
Schmitz, 21, completed his fourth season of major-junior hockey in 2011-12, leading all Plymouth Whalers defensemen in goals (14), assists (40) and points (54). He ranked tied for third among all Ontario Hockey League (OHL) skaters with a plus-37 plus/minus rating, while playing in 62 of Plymouth’s 68 regular-season games. The Howell, MI, native served as the Whalers’ captain in 2011-12, after spending 2010-11 as one of the team’s alternate captains. He was named the OHL Player of the Week for Dec. 26-Jan. 1, when he posted four goals, one assist (5 points) and a plus-8 rating – including a hat trick on Dec. 31 at Windsor – in Plymouth’s three games.
In four seasons with Plymouth, Schmitz (5’10”, 193 lbs.) scored 35 goals, earned 116 assists (151 points) and accumulated 350 penalty minutes in 244 career OHL regular-season games. He played for the Hurricanes’ squads at the NHL Prospects’ Tournament in Traverse City, MI, in 2010 and 2011.
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