Ready for next step

SCOTT FISHER -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 8:25 AM ET

Andrew Ladd is ready to turn pro.

He's taken the visor off his helmet and is already wearing the Carolina Hurricances' red gloves.

Now, all he needs is a contract.

Without a deal, Ladd could return to the Calgary Hitmen as an overager.

But GM/head coach Kelly Kisio isn't holding his breath.

"I would be very surprised," Kisio said about the prospect of having Ladd back in junior.

"He's a very good player and has a chance to make the next step.

"I don't know what kind of money Carolina has to sign players. But I would think (he'd get a deal done). I don't know why he wouldn't."

Ladd has been working out with the Hitmen for the past week and will continue to skate with the club until Sunday when he leaves for the NHL rookie tournament in Ottawa.

The Maple Ridge, B.C., product said he's hoping to get a deal done soon.

"It would be nice to have it out of the way so I could just concentrate on hockey," Ladd said. "But this is the business side of the game that creeps in. And you have to deal with it as you get older so I have to get used to it."

Ladd, who will take part in the rookie event without a contract, said he's looking at the Sept. 5-9 tourney as an opportunity to prove he deserves a deal.

"I hope they get something done when I'm there," the 2004 fourth overall pick said. "It's there and I think about it. But at the end of the day, it's what you do on the ice.

"I have to go down there, make an impact and turn some heads so they almost have to (get a deal done).

"The goal is to play professionally this year. But, obviously, you need a contract to be able to do that. I'm hoping that it all falls into place."

Ladd said he doesn't know if a deal is imminent.

"I'm kinda all new to this," he said. "We're just trying to be patient. I trust my agent and I'm sure he's doing a good job. I'm pretty confident we'll get it done."

Ladd was back on a line with Ryan Getzlaf this week as the latter prepares for Anaheim's camp.

Ladd said he's enjoyed spending some time with his soon-to-be ex-teammates.

"It was nice to see all the guys after the summer," he said. "It was great to be able to go on the ice with them and have some fun.

"Last year, I came in with a shoulder injury and no one wants to start a season off with an injury.

"But this year, I'm healthy and excited to get things going."


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