Carolina Hurricanes sign 2008 first-round pick Zach Boychuk to contract

RALEIGH, N.C. – The Carolina Hurricanes signed 2008 first-round pick Zach Boychuk to a three-year, entry-level contract Saturday.

The centre, selected 14th overall, led all Western Hockey League players with 13 playoff goals last season, helping Lethbridge win the Eastern Conference title before losing to Spokane in the final.

The 19-year-old from Calgary scored 33 goals with 39 assists in 61 regular-season games. He also helped Canada win a fourth straight gold medal at world junior hockey championship.

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“Zach is an important part of our team’s future and we are very happy to get this deal done now,” Hurricanes GM Jim Rutherford said in a statement. “He is a quick, exciting player who has demonstrated an NHL skill level in a short period of time during training camp.”