Home US SportsNHL Carolina Hurricanes finalize eight-year extension with Jesperi Kotkaniemi, 21, expect forward ‘to continue to grow his game’

Carolina Hurricanes finalize eight-year extension with Jesperi Kotkaniemi, 21, expect forward ‘to continue to grow his game’

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RALEIGH, N.C. — The Carolina Hurricanes, chasing the No. 1 seed within the Japanese Convention and looking out towards a Stanley Cup this season, took a well-planned step Monday towards making certain their future after this season as properly.

The Hurricanes, leaders of the Metropolitan Division, signed ahead Jesperi Kotkaniemi to an eight-year extension, which might preserve the 21-year-old ahead with the franchise by way of the 2029-30 season.

The workforce stated the deal may have an average-annual worth of $4.82 million. Carolina introduced the deal on the identical day the Hurricanes acquired ahead Max Domi and defenseman Tyler Inamoto in a three-team deal forward of the commerce deadline.

The story behind the Hurricanes and Kotkaniemi will not be your typical transaction in NHL parlance. They acquired Kotkaniemi in September, signing him as a restricted free agent to a one-year, $6.1 million provide sheet. The Montreal Canadiens, who chosen the previous No. 3 general draft choose in 2018, opted to not match the deal within the league’s first profitable offer-sheet acquisition since 2007.

It was a response to Montreal making an attempt to poach Carolina’s Sebastian Aho the identical means in 2019, although the Hurricanes matched the five-year provide sheet to maintain him. However workforce president and basic supervisor Don Waddell stated the workforce needed to achieve a long-term cope with a participant the workforce believes has good upside.

“We’re all confident he’s going to continue to grow his game, continue to learn and put up bigger numbers than even what he’s doing right now,” Waddell stated.

The 6-foot-2, 201-pound Kotkaniemi will not be enjoying numerous minutes on a loaded offense. He sometimes takes the ice with the fourth line. He has 11 objectives and 23 factors. He is averaging simply 12:00 time on ice, however coach Rod Brind’Amour has stated a number of instances through the season that that is all a part of his growth plan.

The Hurricanes are chasing the Florida Panthers for the No. 1 seed within the Japanese Convention. If the season ended on Sunday evening, they might have completed at No. 2 and had a first-round date with the Boston Bruins.

The Related Press contributed to this report.

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