Colorado College junior defenseman Jaccob Slavin has left the Tigers' hockey program after two seasons.
On Wednesday, he agreed to terms on a three-year, entry-level, two-way contract with the Carolina Hurricanes and will forgo his final two years of college.
The deal pays Slavin $832,500 per season at the NHL level or $70,000 at the American Hockey League level for each season. He also received a $277,500 signing bonus.
"Improving our prospect depth at defense is a priority for our organization, and we felt that it was important for Jaccob to begin his professional career," Carolina general manager Ron Francis said. "He really improved his game during the second half of last season and we look forward to monitoring his development."
Slavin thanked his coaches and teammates at CC for the past "two unforgettable years."
"The fans at CC were amazing and I will definitely miss playing at (The Broadmoor) World Arena," he said via text.
His departure, along with the six graduated seniors and freshman Dan Labosky's midseason jump, opens up eight spots on the team with 13 freshmen scheduled to arrive this fall.
"There are a lot of spots to fill," Tigers coach Mike Haviland said. "(Slavin) played a lot of minutes and was on the ice in all situations for us. There are guys who will be able to step in and run with it. Situations like these give guys coming in and those who played last year a great opportunity for more time and to try new, different roles."
The 6-foot-3, 200-pounder led the Tigers (6-26-3) in scoring as a freshman with 25 points (20 assists) and was named the National Collegiate Hockey Conference Rookie of the Year. As a sophomore, he earned first-team all-NCHC honors with 17 points (12 assists) and a team-high 70 blocked shots.
Haviland would not say if the Tigers would bring in another defensemen to replace Slavin on next year's roster. The 13 freshmen scheduled to arrive include seven forwards, five blue-liners and a goalie.
The coaches knew Slavin, 21, was negotiating with Carolina since late March and planned their recruiting accordingly, Haviland added.
The Erie native was one of six NHL draft picks to play for CC last season and the third to sign a pro contract this offseason after recent graduates Peter Stoykewych and Aaron Harstad. Slavin was a fourth-round pick (120th overall) by Carolina in the 2012 draft.
Slavin is the second CC defenseman in as many years to leave early. Gustav Olofsson signed with the Minnesota Wild after his freshman campaign in 2014. He missed most of last season at AHL Iowa with an injury.