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Canes Sign Rasmus Rissanen to Entry-Level Contract

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Canes Sign Rasmus Rissanen to Entry-Level Contract

Carolina selected defenseman in the sixth round of the 2009 NHL Entry Draft

Monday, 04.04.2011 / 3:07 PM / News

By Terrell Williams

RALEIGH, NC – Jason Karmanos, Vice President and Assistant General Manager of the National Hockey League’s Carolina Hurricanes, today announced that the team has agreed to terms with defenseman Rasmus Rissanen (RAS-mus RIH-sa-nehn) on a three-year, entry-level contract. Beginning with the 2011-12 season, the contract will pay Rissanen $525,000 per season at the NHL level or $55,000 per season at the minor-league level. Rissanen receives a $150,000 signing bonus as a part of the contract.

“Rasmus is a big, physical defenseman who skates very well and plays a consistently reliable game,” said Karmanos. “With his physical tools, work ethic and aggressive play, he projects as a shutdown defenseman.”

Rissanen, 19, completed his second season with Everett of the Western Hockey League (WHL) in 2010-11, totaling 12 points (1g, 11a) and 89 penalty minutes in 68 games. The Kuopio, Finland, native shared the Silvertips team lead in goal scoring during the WHL playoffs, netting a pair of goals during Everett’s first-round loss to Portland. In two seasons of junior hockey with Everett, Rissanen (6’2”, 202 lbs.) totaled five goals, 22 assists (27 points) and 192 penalty minutes in 139 games played.

In addition to his time with Everett, Rissanen has gained experience in international play, most recently representing his home country of Finland at the 2011 World Junior Championship. He also played for Finland at the 2008 U-18 World Championship, helping the Finns upset Canada to win the bronze medal.

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Player Spotlight – Rasmus Rissanen

rissanen022411_thumb.jpg

Rasmus Rissanen is a 19-year-old Finnish-born defenseman who is currently in his second season with the Everett Silvertips of the Western Hockey League (WHL). The Hurricanes drafted Rissanen in the sixth round (178th overall) of the 2009 NHL Entry Draft.With a 6-foot-2, 202-pound frame, Rissanen is regarded as a shutdown, stay-at-home defenseman who isn’t afraid to throw his body around.

“He’s a big, strong kid who plays with a lot of enthusiasm,” Karmanos said. “We like that edge he displays in his game, and maybe more importantly, he looks to be a very powerful skater.”

Rissanen skated with Team Finland in the World Junior Championships in Buffalo a few months ago. In six tournament games, he racked up 14 penalty minutes and was a plus one. Karmanos said the organization thought he played well.

Even though putting up offensive numbers on the back-end isn’t what Rissanen’s game is about, he has recorded 11 points this season for the Slivertips, his first and only goal coming on Feb. 5.

Gritty play down low is what makes Rissanen successful and has some in the organization seeing the defenseman as a younger Niclas Wallin.

“If he can develop into a player like that, we’d be extremely happy,” Karmanos said.

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They said a lot of good things about him last night in his first game in a Checkers sweater. Now that he has signed I would assume he will play a full season with the Checkers next year (unless he just blows everyone away at camp and and earns the Canes crest).

Now that I am paying more attention to what Carolina has "in the system" I am very excited for the next few years. The Checkers are like a double barreled shotgun, lots of guys coming down the pipe and just reload after reload after reload.

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