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Carolina Hurricanes sign Brett Pesce to six-year, $24 million contract extension

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Another long-term piece of the Hurricanes’ puzzle is signed up through 2024.

Jamie Kellner

A day short of three weeks after the Carolina Hurricanes signed Jaccob Slavin to a long-term extension kicking in following the upcoming season, the team decided that they liked the feeling so much that they’d do it again with the other half of that defensive pairing.

The Hurricanes announced on Tuesday that Brett Pesce has agreed to a six year contract extension, worth a total of $24.15 million and carrying an average annual value of $4.025 million per season. The 22-year-old defenseman will be an unrestricted free agent at the end of the contract extension.

Pesce finished his second full season with the Hurricanes last year, playing in every game while posting career highs with 18 assists and 20 points to go along with two goals. While playing next to Slavin, the two formed a formidable pair, with Pesce averaging more than 21 minutes of ice time in 2016-17. He blocked 148 shots, second on the team to Slavin, and his even-strength Corsi for of 53.8% was tops among Hurricanes defensemen.

With Slavin and Pesce now under contract beyond the end of this season, the Canes have three additional defensemen whose contracts expire next summer. Noah Hanifin, Klas Dahlbeck and Trevor van Riemsdyk will all be restricted free agents, the latter two with arbitration rights.

The release from the team is below.

HURRICANES, PESCE AGREE TO SIX-YEAR EXTENSION
Defenseman posted franchise-best plus-23 rating in 2016-17

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 on a six-year contract extension. The deal, which will begin in the 2018-19 season, will pay Pesce $4.025 million per season.

“Brett took another big step forward last season,” said Francis. “He plays a smart defensive game and has good ability to move the puck and contribute offensively. We plan for him to be a part of the Hurricanes’ defensive corps for a long time.”

Pesce, 22, completed his second full professional season in 2016-17, playing in all 82 of the Hurricanes’ games. The Tarrytown, NY, native set NHL career highs with 18 assists and 20 points, and, along with his defensive partner Jaccob Slavin, posted a franchise single-season best plus-23 plus/minus rating. Pesce and Slavin finished the 2016-17 season ranked tied for 10th among all NHL skaters in plus/minus.

Originally drafted by the Hurricanes in the third round, 66th overall, in the 2013 NHL Draft, Pesce has scored six goals and earned 30 assists (36 points) in 151 career NHL regular-season games with Carolina. He made his NHL debut with the Hurricanes on Oct. 24, 2015, after playing just three American Hockey League (AHL) games with Carolina’s affiliate, the Charlotte Checkers, to start 2015-16. Pesce (6’3”, 200 lbs.) turned professional after three seasons at the University of New Hampshire, where he was teammates and roommates with newly-acquired Hurricanes defenseman Trevor van Riemsdyk.