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Hurricanes Sign Brett Pesce and Alex Nedeljkovic

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Both players get entry-level deals and will join Charlotte Checkers

Brett Pesce at Carolina's prospect camp last summer
Brett Pesce at Carolina's prospect camp last summer
photo by Jamie Kellner

The Carolina Hurricanes signed two prospects to entry-level deals today.

Brett Pesce and Alex Nedeljkovic are both assigned to Charlotte and they should see action for the Checkers soon.

Pesce, a defenseman with good size, (listed at 6'3 - 200) had a solid career with New Hampshire and finished with 43 points in 109 games for the Wildcats.

Nedeljkovic is a scrambling goalie who was Carolina's second round pick last summer.  This season he faced more shots and had more saves than any other goalie in the OHL.  Last year, he was the OHL's "goaltender of the year".

The team's press release for each signing follows:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – March 27, 2015

‘CANES, PESCE AGREE TO TERMS ON ENTRY-LEVEL DEAL

Defenseman notched 16 points during junior season for New Hampshire

RALEIGH, NC – Ron Francis, Executive Vice President and General Manager of the National Hockey League’s Carolina Hurricanes, today announced that the team has agreed to terms with defenseman Brett Pesce (PEH-shee) on a three-year, entry-level contract. On the NHL level, the deal will pay Pesce $650,000 in 2015-16, $700,000 in 2016-17 and $800,000 in 2017-18. His American Hockey League (AHL) salary would be $70,000 per year, and he receives a signing bonus of $277,500.

"Brett is a big, puck-moving defenseman, and we felt it was time for him to begin his professional career," said Francis. "He will report to Charlotte next week so that he can play some AHL games this season."

Pesce, 20, completed his junior season at the University of New Hampshire in 2014-15, ranking second among Wildcats defenseman with 16 points (3g, 13a) and a plus-12 rating in 30 games. The Tarrytown, NY, native led New Hampshire defensemen in assists (13) and ranked tied for third among all Wildcats skaters in plus/minus (+12).    

Selected by the Hurricanes in the third round, 66th overall, of the 2013 NHL Draft, Pesce (6’3", 200 lbs.) completes his collegiate career with 43 points (11g, 32a) and 48 penalty minutes in 109 games with New Hampshire. Prior to his college career, Pesce played one season with the Jersey Hitmen of the Eastern Junior Hockey League (EJHL), and also spent time with the United States National Team Development Program (USNTDP), representing the U.S. at the 2011 Ivan Hlinka Tournament.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – March 27, 2015

‘CANES AGREE TO TERMS WITH ALEX NEDELJKOVIC

Carolina’s 2014 second-round pick will join AHL affiliate for remainder of season

RALEIGH, NC – Ron Francis, Executive Vice President and General Manager of the National Hockey League’s Carolina Hurricanes, today announced that the team has agreed to terms with goaltender Alex Nedeljkovic (neh-DEL-koh-vitch) on a three-year, entry-level contract. At the NHL level, the deal will pay Nedeljkovic $700,000 in 2015-16, $750,000 in 2016-17 and $800,000 in 2017-18. In the minor leagues, he will make $70,000 in each season, and he will receive a signing bonus of $277,500. Nedeljkovic will join the Hurricanes’ American Hockey League (AHL) affiliate, the Charlotte Checkers, for the remainder of the 2014-15 season.

"Alex had another strong year with Plymouth, and we are pleased with his development thus far," said Francis. "We anticipate that he will play an important role in our organization’s future."

Nedeljkovic, 19, recently completed his third season of major-junior hockey with the Plymouth Whalers of the Ontario Hockey League (OHL). He finished the season ranked first among OHL goaltenders saves (1,827) and shots faced (1,994), tied for third in shutouts (5), fourth in games (55) and minutes played (3,206), fifth in save percentage (.916) and 12th in goals-against average (3.13). The Parma, OH, native posted a 20-28-7 record with Plymouth, finishing 14th among OHL goalies in wins despite the Whalers finishing ninth in the Western Conference with a 23-38-7 record.

In three OHL seasons with Plymouth, Nedeljkovic (6’0", 190 lbs.) has compiled a 65-57-16 record, a 2.88 goals-against average and a .921 save percentage in 142 regular-season games. He was named OHL Goaltender of the Year and a member of the OHL First All-Star Team following the 2013-14 season, after posting 26-27-7 record, a 2.88 goals-against average and a .925 save percentage in 61 games. The Hurricanes drafted Nedeljkovich in the second round, 37th overall, in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft.

The Carolina Hurricanes host the New Jersey Devils on Saturday at PNC Arena (7 p.m., FOX Sports Carolinas, Hurricanes Radio Network). For information about Hurricanes ticket packages, please visit www.CarolinaHurricanes.com/tickets, or call 1-866-NHL-CANES (1-866-645-2263).