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No. 1 draft signs first pro deal

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins didn't waste much time before signing his first NHL pro contract.

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins didn't waste much time before signing his first NHL pro contract.

General manager Steve Tambellini announced last Saturday that the Edmonton Oilers have agreed to terms with the Burnaby Winter Cub product on a three-year entrylevel contract.

Nugent-Hopkins, who was selected No. 1 overall by the Oilers on June 24 at the NHL Entry Draft in St. Paul, Minnesota, put on an Oilers jersey for the first time earlier this week when he participated in the Oilers development camp.

The 6-foot-1, 175-pound native of Burnaby had 31 goals and 106 points for Red Deer of the Western Hockey League. His 75 assists led the WHL, while his 106 points tied him for third overall.

As the first pick, Nugent-Hopkins will get the maximum allowable rookie salary, which is $925,000 US for 2011, up from the $900,000 that Taylor Hall received last season.

According to Capgeek. com, Nugent-Hopkins will be a $3.775-million salarycap hit, which is the most he can make per season if he collects every bonus.

"I didn't expect it to be this quick, (but) that was awesome. I was very excited when I got that call," Nugent-Hopkins said of his first pro deal. "Now I can just focus on the hockey part."

Nugent-Hopkins was drafted first overall by the Rebels and debuted with Red Deer as an underage player in 2008-09, scoring two goals and adding four assists in five games.

In 2009-10, Nugent-Hopkins was named the Western Hockey League rookie of the year, after recording 24 goals and 65 points in 67 games. He was also a finalist for Canadian Hockey League rookie of the year.

Internationally, Nugent-Hopkins helped captain Team Canada at the 2010 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament, scoring the game-winning goal against the U.S. in the final. He also led the tournament in scoring with five goals.