The Carolina Hurricanes have signed prospect Matt Kennedy to a three-year, entry-level contract.
The contract will pay Kennedy, on the NHL level, $500,000 in 2010-2011 and $525,000 in 2011-2012 and 2012-2013. In the AHL, it will pay him $50,000 in 2010-2011, $55,000 the second season and $60,000 in the third season. He also received a signing bonus of $150,000.
Kennedy, 21, was the Canes' fifth-round pick, No. 131 overall, in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft, and the team hoped to sign the forward to a contract last year. He opted to return to junior for a fifth season in the Ontario Hockey League, splitting the season between Guelph and Barrie.
Kennedy was sidelined during the past season after suffering a concussion on an open-ice hit to the head from Zach Kassian of the Windsor Spitfires. Kassian was suspended 20 games by the OHL.
The Richmond Hill, Ont., native totaled 18 goals and 16 assists in 43 regular-season games, including 18 points after being obtained by Barrie in December. Kennedy had 15 points in 17 OHL playoffs games as Barrie reached the OHL finals before losing to Windsor.