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Carolina Hurricanes Sign Hobey Baker Finalist

In the latest run of contract signings by the Carolina Hurricanes, the team announced that they have signed Hobey Baker Finalist Jackson Blake to a three-year entry-level contract. Blake had been in Raleigh working with the Hurricanes strength and conditioning coach so all signs were pointing towards a deal. The deal will pay Blake $775,000 in 2023-24 and then $832,500 the next two years at the NHL level and $80,000 each year at the AHL level. It also includes a $277,500 signing bonus.

Jackson Blake Signed

The Hurricanes have been wasting no time in locking up what could be core pieces of the team’s future the last few weeks. They started with Scott Morrow and then signed Bradley Nadeau and Gleb Trikozov shortly after. Next, they went overseas and signed the 26-year-old Juha Jaaksa from Finland. And now they have locked up another top prospect in the system.

Jackson Blake was the Carolina Hurricanes fourth-round pick in the 2021 NHL Entry Draft. Blake, the son of former NHLer Jason Blake, played in the USHL his draft year but spent the next two years at the University of North Dakota. Notably, this season Blake put up 22 goals and 38 assists in 40 NCAA games. He ranked fourth in points and tied for third in assists among all NCAA Division I skaters. While receiving other awards, notably Blake is in the final three for the Hobey Baker Award. His competition includes potential upcoming first-overall draft pick Macklin Celibrini and elite Boston College forward Cutter Gauthier. For a fourth-round pick especially, Blake is not in bad company.

What This Means Moving Forward

Carolina clearly sees a lot they like in Jackson Blake. And rightfully so. As a Hobey Baker Finalist putting up great numbers at a strong North Dakota program, Blake looks ready to take the next step. Even though his making the Hurricanes next season out of training camp seems unlikely, it is not impossible. The Hurricanes have a lot of contract decisions coming up which could potentially lead to open spots for younger, cheaper players ready to make a mark. Even though they currently don’t have an AHL affiliate, it’s hard to imagine them existing another season without one.

But in conjunction with the players mentioned above, the future looks pretty bright for the Hurricanes. College players always have a risk of not signing with the team that drafted them so getting guys like Blake, Morrow and Nadeau locked up early provides some security here. For a team that is a Stanley Cup contender, their drafting and prospect development have been pretty strong. Getting a player like Blake in the system officially is a good move for all. Now it’s up to Blake to take the next steps.

Main Photo Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports


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