Friday, April 6, 2012

Jeremy Welsh Signs With Carolina Hurricanes

An eventful day in Dutchmen-ville: after bowing out to Ferris State in a tough game in the NCAA Championship semi-finals, Junior forward Jeremy Welsh announced his signing with the Carolina Hurricanes of the NHL. Jeremy will play his first NHL game on Saturday. Congratulations are in order to Jeremy, his family, and to Union Hockey. This is at once a sad and exuberant day for the Dutchmen on so many levels: despite the loss to Ferris State, Union fans have a wealth of riches to be proud of. Union loses its most prolific scorer and assistant captain, but Welsh also achieves a lifelong goal. Welsh finishes his college career at the century mark: in 119 games, he had 100 points: 53 goals, 47 assists. Affectionately known as Welshie, he dominated this year's postseason with 9 points in 8 games. A respected leader, offensive weapon, teammate, and most of all, good guy, Welsh will be missed.

Says Ron Francis, director of hockey operations for the Whalers 'Canes (and a damn good player himself):
Of all of the college free agents available, we identified Jeremy as the one who most fit our organizational needs. 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.
But eschew the sad, be happy, and most of all, be proud of Jeremy Welsh and the Dutchmen. After all, #27 will always be a Dutchmen. When his bio is displayed on TV on Saturday, all should be proud to see "Union College" under his name. We'll have more on this later, but once again: congratulations to Jeremy Welsh and the Union Dutchmen. For more, check out Mike's interview with Jeremy from last month.

Update: Ken Schott has video from Welshie's press conference. He will finish his degree when he comes back this spring.

Update 2: Welsh will center Jeff Skinner and Tuomo Ruutu tonight when the Hurricanes take on the Florida Panthers. Join the conversation here. He also gets ink in Sports Illustrated.

Update 3: Welsh will wear #23 tonight for the Hurricanes. You can watch the game on NHL GameCenter for $9.99.

Congratulations to Jeremy!


  1. What joke! Welsh got $92,000 signing bonus!? Twenty years ago the standard signing bonus was $200,000. Welsh's AHL salary is $70,000 per year. Bank tellers make more than that! When Joe Juneau was at RPI, he passed up the junior year offer and played his senior year in college. The Bruins then paid him $1M to sign with the team. Welsh has received a lot of bad advice.

    1. "And for all that, he was very justifiably rewarded with a fat free agent contract from the Carolina Hurricanes, signed just hours after his team was eliminated. The deal will pay him $832,500 at the NHL level and a hefty signing bonus of $92,500, the team reported."

      It depends how you look into it, Anonymous. I, and many professionals, find it likely that on the Canes, Welsh has a good shot at cracking the line-up. If that's the case, it's sure close to the $1M contract you're talking about that went to Juneau. In Juneau's case, he was 23 when he started playing in the NHL in '91, after his senior year. Jeremy is turning 24 in about 2 weeks as a Junior. The circumstances are not the same and to compare them the way you are is illogical. I'd love to see your sources for $200,000 regularly going to undrafted college player 20 years ago. Next time you take a shot at someone on this site, please cite your sources so I don't need to sit here for 20 minutes making sure no one who is reading this takes your comment as anything more than another thoughtless Anonymous rant.

    2. That is indeed a very tightfisted contract. It's strictly business, now: When the director of operations says “he has a legitimate chance to make the organization,” it's hockeyspeak for “he'll get an AHL assignment out of camp. We'll see what happens after that.” You'll notice that the term “NHL” is never used. It's too bad, a player only gets one chance at a first job. He should have waited, if only a few weeks, and signed with a team that really wanted him (was willing to pay). BTW Whether Ron Francis was a good player is irrelevant. What's relevant is what's in Welsh's longterm best interest. That contract isn't. Enough said.

    3. We also don't know the ins-and-outs of other contracts Welsh had on the table, presumably from Boston and Chicago. The Hurricanes also may be the best fit--they need an NHL-ready (or close to NHL ready) center in the mold of Welsh. Also, the decision to come back to finish his degree at Union shouldn't be overlooked: the Hurricanes may have been the most on board with allowing Jeremy to come back to Schenectady and finish.