(ISN) – The Toronto Maple Leafs announced today they have signed Portland Winterhawks forward Brad Ross to a three-year entry level contract. Ross was the Maple Leafs’ second round pick, 43rd overall, in the 2010 National Hockey League Entry Draft.
Ross set career-highs with 42 goals and 82 points this season. He finished third on the team in scoring, and tied for 17th overall in league scoring.
He’s played 270 games over five seasons, tying him for 11th in franchise history, while his 109 goals are 14th in team history and he ranks 15th all-time with 245 career points.
“Signing a pro contract is a big step for a young player, and we’re thrilled for Brad and his family,” said Winterhawks General Manager & Head Coach Mike Johnston. “Brad has been an integral part of the team’s success over his career. Like all young players trying to make it to the NHL, there will be challenges, but we’re confident Brad’s determination will serve him well as he tries to take the next step.”
Ross joins Sven Bartschi (Calgary), Oliver Gabriel (Columbus), Joe Morrow (Pittsburgh) and Marcel Noebels (Philadelphia) among current Winterhawks players who have signed NHL contracts. With five current Winterhawks signed to NHL contracts, Portland has now had 11 players who have been signed by NHL teams in the last two seasons, including Ryan Johansen (Columbus), Nino Niederreiter (New York Islanders), Taylor Aronson (Nashville), Riley Boychuk (Buffalo), Craig Cunningham (Boston) and Brett Ponich (St. Louis).
The Winterhawks open the 2012 WHL Playoffs with a first round series against the Kelowna Rockets, with Game 1 Friday at 7 p.m. in Veterans Memorial Coliseum, and Game 2 Saturday at 7 p.m. in the Coliseum. Tickets to those games are on sale now at winterhawks.com, or in person at the Rose Quarter box office for the Winterhawks’ ticket office.