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Carolina Hurricanes, Martin Necas agree to terms on three-year entry level contract; new minor-league goaltender consultant named

The Canes’ first-rounder becomes the first member of the draft class of 2017 to sign with the team, and Paul Schonfelder joins the organization as a minor-league consultant.

Jamie Kellner

The Carolina Hurricanes on Friday signed their first round pick from the 2017 NHL Draft, Czech center Martin Necas, to a three-year entry level contract. The deal will pay Necas $832,500 in the NHL or $70,000 in the AHL, with a signing bonus of $277,500.

Necas won the Czech Extraliga championship with HC Kometa Brno last season, scoring 15 points in 41 games of his first season in top-level professional hockey. He was selected by the Saginaw Spirit in the OHL import draft two weeks ago, and made a strong impression during his first appearance at Canes prospect camp later that week.

He is expected to return to the Czech Republic for another season, but plans to attend the Spirit’s training camp beginning at the end of August, so it’s conceivable he could make the jump to the OHL similar to Janne Kuokkanen last season.

In other news, the Hurricanes announced that they have hired Paul Schonfelder as the organization’s minor-league goaltending consultant. Schonfelder will serve in a roving capacity, working with the Canes’ goalie prospects in Charlotte and Florida as well as keeping tabs on the netminders elsewhere in the system. He has served as a goalie coach for Team Canada’s junior teams the past three years, including winning a gold medal at the 2017 U17 world championships, and will coach the goalies for Canada’s U18 team at the 2017 Ivan Hlinka tournament in Slovakia. He replaces Curtis Joseph, who is no longer with the club per Cory Lavalette of North State Journal.

The releases from the team are below.

Carolina selected the center with the 12th overall pick in the 2017 NHL Draft

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 2017 first-round selection Martin Necas (NEH-chahs) on a three-year, entry-level contract. The deal will pay Necas $832,500 on the NHL level or $70,000 on the American Hockey League level per season. He receives a signing bonus of $277,500.

Necas, 18, spent the 2016-17 season with HC Kometa Brno of the Czech Extraliga, the Czech Republic’s top professional league. He notched seven goals and earned eight assists (15 points) in 41 regular-season games, and ranked third on the team with three power-play goals. The Nove Mesto na Morave, Czech Republic, native scored four goals in 10 playoff games as Brno won the league championship.

In international play, Necas (6’1”, 178 lbs.) represented the Czech Republic at the 2017 International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) World Junior Championship, notching three points (1g, 2a) in five games. He captained his home country’s team to its first gold medal at the Ivan Hlinka Memorial Cup in August 2016, scoring two goals and earning four assists in four tournament games. He also earned three assists in the 2017 IIHF World Under-18 Championship.

Has served as goalie coach for several Canadian national teams

Ron Francis, Executive Vice President and General Manager of the National Hockey League’s Carolina Hurricanes, today announced that the team has hired Paul Schonfelder as its new minor league goalie consultant.

Schonfelder, 36, spent the past three seasons as the goalie coach for the Ottawa 67s of the Ontario Hockey League (OHL). The Stoney Creek, Ont., native has also worked as a goalie coach for Hockey Canada over the past three years, winning a gold medal with Canada’s 2015 U17 national team. He will travel to Bratislava, Slovakia in August to serve as goalie coach for Canada’s U18 national team at the 2017 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Cup, his second consecutive year at the tournament.

Prior to joining the 67’s, Schonfelder previously worked with netminders at St. Lawrence University, Ottawa University and the Kanata Stallions of the Central Canada Hockey League (CCHL). He also spent a year with Japan’s men’s and women’s national teams. As a player, Schonfelder spent time with the OHL’s Ottawa 67’s and Sudbury Wolves, and was part of the 67’s Memorial Cup-winning team in 1999. He played professionally in the Central Hockey League (CHL), United Hockey League (UHL) and Southern Professional Hockey League (SPHL), including with the Cape Fear Fire Antz.