Welsh Signs With Carolina After Frozen Four Loss
CHN Staff Report
TAMPA, Fla. A late surge, a 27-goal season, and a run to the Frozen Four helped make Union junior center Jeremy Welsh a valuable commodity. And Welsh wasted no time taking advantage of that after Union lost the national semifinal to Ferris State on Thursday evening.
Welsh signed an entry-level NHL contract with the Carolina Hurricanes. Welsh will join the Hurricanes in Ft. Lauderdale for the team's final game of the 2011-12 NHL season against the Florida Panthers on Saturday night at 7:30 p.m..
“Of all of the college free agents available, we identified Jeremy as the one who most fit our organizational needs,” said Carolina Director of Hockey Operations Ron Francis. “He provides another big body for us down the middle, and is a player who has shown character and leadership at the college level, in addition to scoring ability.”
If Welsh were to dress on Saturday night at Florida, he would become the first former Union player to play in an NHL game since Duane Joyce (Dallas Stars) in 1993-94, and the first from the Division I era at Union, which began in 1991-92.
Welsh, 23, recorded 27 goals, 17 assists (44 points) and 47 penalty minutes in 40 games for the Dutchmen this season, shattering the school single-season goals record previously held by Mario Valery-Trabucco. He ranked first on the team and fourth in the NCAA in goals scored. The Bayfield, Ont., native had nine points (5-4—9) in eight postseason games for the Dutchmen, including a five-game goal-scoring streak to lead Union to its first ECAC Hockey Championship and first Frozen Four berth in school history. For his efforts, Welsh was named ECAC Hockey Player of the Month for March, Most Outstanding Player of the ECAC Championship and Most Outstanding Player of the NCAA East Regional.
Welsh completes his three-year collegiate career with 100 points (53-47) in 119 games for Union. He became the 21st player to record 100 points at Union, notching an assist in last night's 3-1 loss to Ferris St. in the Frozen Four.