Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Bowman signs with 'Canes

LW Drayson Bowman of the Memorial Cup-champion Spokane Chiefs has signed a three-year deal with the NHL's Carolina Hurricanes. Here is the release from the Chiefs:

Ron Francis, Assistant General Manager and Director of Player Development for the National Hockey League's Carolina Hurricanes, announced today that the team has signed Spokane Chiefs forward Drayson Bowman to a three-year, entry- level contract. The contract will pay Bowman $550,000, $600,000 and $650,000 on the NHL level or $65,000 on the minor-league level in years one through three. Bowman will also receive a signing bonus of $262,500. Bowman is still eligible to return to play for the Chiefs, should he not be named to the Hurricanes' roster following training camp.

"Drayson had an outstanding season capped off by a strong performance in helping Spokane win the Memorial Cup" said Francis. "He is an excellent goal- scorer with good hockey sense and is capable of competing for a spot on our roster as early as this fall."

Bowman, 19, led Spokane and ranked tied for 10th in the WHL in scoring during the 2007-08 regular season with 42 goals and 40 assists (82 points) in 66 games. He was named the WHL's Player of the Month in November after scoring 13 goals and earning 11 assists (24 points) and being named the Canadian Hockey League's Player of the Week in back-to-back weeks during the month. Born in Grand Rapids, MI, but raised in Littleton, CO, Bowman was tied for third among all WHL skaters in scoring during the playoffs with 20 points, and second only to fellow Hurricanes prospect Zach Boychuk in playoff goals with 11. After helping lead Spokane to the WHL Championship, Bowman was the leading goal scorer during the 2008 Memorial Cup in Kitchener, Ont., with six goals in four games. He notched the game-winning goal in Spokane's 4-1 victory in the Memorial Cup championship game against Kitchener, and was named to the tournament's All-Star Team.

Drafted by the Hurricanes with their second pick, 72nd overall, in the third round of the 2007 NHL Entry Draft, Bowman has totaled 83 goals and 76 assists (159 points) and 168 penalty minutes in 203 career WHL regular-season games with Spokane. He has averaged a point per game in 27 career playoff games, tallying 13 goals and 14 assists.

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