RALEIGH, NC – Ron Francis, Vice President of Hockey Operations of the National Hockey League’s Carolina Hurricanes, today announced that the team has agreed to terms with right wing Aaron Palushaj (pul-LOO-shigh) on a one-year contract. The deal will pay Palushaj $600,000 on the NHL level or $175,000 on the American Hockey League (AHL) level with a guarantee of at least $225,000.
“Aaron is still a young player and has some NHL experience under his belt,” said Francis. “He has good speed and good hands and we believe he can push for a job in Raleigh come September.”
Palushaj, 23, scored two goals and added seven assists (9 points) in 25 games for the Colorado Avalanche in 2012-13, averaging 11:18 of ice time per game. The Livonia, MI, native also played 21 games with the Montreal Canadiens’ American Hockey League (AHL) affiliate, Hamilton, prior to being acquired by Colorado on waivers on Feb. 5, totaling 10 points (7g, 3a). Palushaj (5’11”, 187 lbs.) established a career high in NHL games played with Montreal in 2011-12, when he appeared in 38 contests.
Selected by the Canadiens in the second round (44th overall) of the 2007 NHL Entry Draft, Palushaj has earned 14 points (3g, 11a) and totaled 18 penalty minutes in 66 career NHL games with Montreal and Colorado. He has played 190 games on the AHL level with Peoria and Hamilton, notching 54 goals and 82 assists (136 points). Prior to turning professional, Palushaj spent two seasons at the University of Michigan, where he earned All-American recognition as a sophomore after leading the Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA) and ranking fourth nationally in scoring (44 points) in 2008-09. He has represented the United States at the 2009 World Junior Championship and the 2013 IIHF World Championship.
Palushaj looks like the type of player that can be a decent fourth liner or go down to Charlotte and score a bunch of goals. Not a bad signing.
Fun Fact: Palushaj was drafted one spot after P.K. Subban.