In front of 4,000 in attendance at PNC Arena as part of the Hurricanes’ Summerfest event held on Saturday, the team’s top two picks in the 2016 National Hockey League (NHL) Entry Draft, 13th and 21st overall respectively, signed their entry-level contracts (ELCs) before taking to the ice to conclude their prospect camp experience.
In addition to receiving a signing bonus of $277,500, each player inked a three-year deal that will pay $832,500 at the NHL level or $70,000 at the American Hockey League (AHL) level.
The signings preceded the Hurricanes’ prospect Red-White scrimmage which comprised two run-time 15-minute periods of play followed by a shootout competition.
Both squads played to a scoreless draw at the end of the first period, remained deadlocked 2-2 following the second, before the exhibition contest was finally decided in Team White’s favor, 6-3, following the shootout.
“It’s pretty cool,” Bean said of the overall experience.
“Definitely a first-class organization and I’m grateful to be a part of it. It’s a pretty special day for my family and I.”
According to Bean, the contract signing was something that was discussed previously.
“I was in talks for a bit, so I’m happy it’s over.”
For Gauthier, the experience in signing on the dotted line with executive vice president and general manager Ron Francis was just as exhilarating, and one that had also been in the works since the draft.
“I didn’t know it was going to be that fast,” Gauthier said.
“I learned it a long time ago, but I’m happy that it’s done now. I know they show interest in me and I am pretty happy.”
Both players then showed their potential in creating offense for Carolina in the future as Bean’s pass to Gauthier in the second period eventually ended in the top right-hand corner of the net, ringing of the post and under the cross bar.
“It was where I was looking,” Gauthier said with a smile.
Gauthier also mentioned his appreciation for the support shown by the Canes fans in attendance.
“As a development camp, I didn’t think there would be that many people here. I know the fans were cheering for us and it was a pretty good thing.”
Head coach Bill Peters was happy with how the week ended for the newest crop of young players who came into the Hurricanes’ system.
“I thought it was great,” he said.
“I’ve liked the whole week. The goaltenders were outstanding here early. I thought it was ironic that the first goal was Gauthier from Bean.”
Peters added his pleasure in seeing both prospects signed and ready to get their pro career development underway.
“I think it’s a good decision and I am excited to get those guys in the fold, fully committed, and they know where they’re goin’ to play – two real good assets moving forward.”
The coach added that he expected them to compete at main camp before the coming season.
“They should have the mindset to come here to camp and try to make the team.
“We’ll evaluate it as it goes, and then we’ll do the right thing for them in the long term and the right thing for us, and make sure we’re competitive to get out of the gate in the regular season.”