The Hurricanes signed Left Wing Justin Soryal to a one-year, two-way contract that will pay him $80K at the AHL level. He was undrafted after his four seasons in the OHL, and signed with the New York Rangers where he spent three seasons in their minor league system. Soryal is a big, physical forward who was 11th in the AHL in penalty minutes last year with 220. (For Checkers fans keeping score, Zack Fitzgerald was ninth with 229). An interesting note is that Soryal was second on his team in PIM’s. Devin DiDiomete led the Whale with 303 PIMs, and was third in the AHL. I’ve heard nothing but great things about his time in the OHL and Connecticut, so I can’t wait to see him in a Hurricanes or Checkers uniform!
Soryal is also a former teammate of Jordan Staal. The two played together for two seasons with the Peterborough Petes in the OHL from 2004-06. Since the Hurricanes like to collect Staals (almost as much as they collect Sutters) I think Soryal’s Staal connection will serve him well.
In Soryal’s four games against the Checkers last year, he had zero points, but racked up 9 penalty minutes (They all came in the same game, our first of the season. Five minutes for a fight vs. Nic Blanchard, and two additional roughing penalties.)
I would have to believe that Soryal’s similarity to Fitzgerald in the physical sense, and his willingness to drop the gloves, might be a final nail in Fitzy’s Hurricane coffin, as I would be surprised for the Canes to sign two players with a similar fighting talent, but we must not lose all hope for fan favorite Fitzy!