Hurricanes sign O’Sullivan

The Carolina Hurricanes, parent club of the AHL’s Charlotte Checkers, today announced that the team has signed center Patrick O’Sullivan to a one-year, two-way contract.

The deal will pay O’Sullivan $600,000 on the NHL level or $105,000 on the American Hockey League (AHL) level during the 2010-11 season.

“Patrick had a little bit of an off year with Edmonton last season, but is still young and very skilled,” said Hurricanes president and general manager Jim Rutherford. “He scored 20 goals just a few seasons ago, and has the ability to reach that mark again. Patrick will be in competition for a spot on our NHL roster during training camp.”

A former AHL Rookie of the Year and a native of North Carolina (Winston-Salem), O’Sullivan, 25, netted 11 goals and earned 23 assists (34 points) in 73 games for Edmonton in 2009-10, ranking fifth among Oilers in scoring and tied for fifth in assists.

Drafted by the Minnesota Wild in the second round, 56th overall, in the 2003 NHL Entry Draft, he has totaled 54 goals and 95 assists (149 points) in 280 career NHL games with Los Angeles and Edmonton. The Oilers originally acquired O’Sullivan as part of the three-team trade in which the Hurricanes acquired Erik Cole from Edmonton.

During his first professional season in 2005-06, he ranked third in the AHL in goals and fourth in the AHL in points, collecting 47 goals and 93 points to lead league rookies and establish Houston franchise rookie records. He was awarded the Dudley “Red” Garrett Memorial Trophy as the AHL’s outstanding rookie, and participated in the 2006 AHL All-Star Classic.

In 2006-07, O’Sullivan played just 41 AHL games with Manchester and still finished fourth on the team in goals (18) and fifth in points (39). He added eight goals and nine assists in 16 playoff games to help the Monarchs reach the Eastern Conference finals.

O’Sullivan has represented the United States in a number of international competitions, including the 2006 and 2008 IIHF World Championships. He also skated for Team USA in three consecutive World Junior Championships between 2003 and 2005, and scored the game-winning goal in the gold-medal game against Canada at the 2004 World Junior Championships.