Last November, the Hurricanes pounced at the opportunity to claim Czech forward Andrej Nestrasil off waivers from the Detroit Red Wings. Carolina made an even bigger commitment to Nestrasil Monday, signing the 24-year-old forward to a two-year contract that will pay him $875,000 next season and $950,000 in 2016-17. His cap hit will be $912,500, and he will again be a restricted free agent the summer before the 2017-18 season.
Nestrasil bring versatility and size to the Canes lineup — he's able to play all three forward positions, and at 6-3, 200 pounds, is Carolina’s biggest forward not named Staal. In 41 games with the Hurricanes last season, Nestrasil had seven goals and 11 assists in 14:04 minutes of ice time. In limited faceoff duty, he won 53 of 92 draws, good for a 57.6 winning percentage, and his 1.50 points per 60 minutes was second to only Eric Staal on the team last year.
Nestrasil was also one of Carolina’s best possession players, with a five-on-five Corsi For percentage of 55.2. Nestrasil figures to slot on Carolina’s third line.
With the signing, Carolina has just one pending RFA, center Riley Nash, they need to sign among their full-time NHLers.
Here is the release from the team:
‘CANES AGREE TO TERMS WITH ANDREJ NESTRASIL
Forward made his NHL debut in 2014-15
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 forward Andrej Nestrasil on a two-year contract. The deal will pay Nestrasil $875,000 in 2015-16 and $950,000 in 2016-17.
"Andrej is a big body and a good fit for our team and what we’re trying to do," said Francis. "He battled an injury last season, but proved he could produce offensively on the NHL level."
Nestrasil, 24, appeared in his first NHL season in 2014-15, totaling seven goals and 13 assists (20 points) in 54 games with the Detroit Red Wings and the Hurricanes. The Prague native was acquired by Carolina on waivers on Nov. 20, and scored his first NHL goal during his Hurricanes debut on Nov. 22 at Colorado. He tallied 18 of his 20 points for the season after joining Carolina, and led the Hurricanes in plus/minus with a plus-2 rating.
Nestrasil (6’3", 200 lbs.) was selected by Detroit in the third round (75th overall) of the 2009 NHL Entry Draft. He has represented his native Czech Republic in a number of international competitions, including the 2009 U18 World Junior Championship and the 2010 and 2011 World Junior Championships. Nestrasil has appeared in 123 career American Hockey League (AHL) games with Grand Rapids and Charlotte, totaling 22 goals and 24 assists (46 points). He was a member of Grand Rapids’ 2013 Calder Cup championship team.