Defenceman Anton Babchuk signs one-year, US$1.4-million deal with Hurricanes

RALEIGH, – Defenceman Anton Babchuk will return to the NHL from his hiatus in the Kontinental Hockey League, signing a one-year deal with the Carolina Hurricanes.

He will earn US$1.4-million with the Hurricanes next season.

Babchuk appeared in 49 games with the KHL’s Avangard Omsk last season. He led the team’s defencemen with nine goals and 22 points. He also played in the 2010 KHL All-Star Game in Minsk.

Babchuk spent the 2008-09 season with the Hurricanes, finishing in a tie for fifth among NHL defencemen with 16 goals in 72 games played. He had been a first-round draft pick in 2002, taken 21st overall by the Chicago Blackhawks.

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“We’re happy to be bringing Anton back to the Hurricanes,”Hurricanes general manager Jim Rutherford said in a release. “His has a big shot and he really came into his own offensively for us during the 2008-09 season.”