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Canes officially ink Kotkaniemi to extension

The Carolina Hurricanes have locked down Jesperi Kotkaniemi through 2029-30.

NHL: Columbus Blue Jackets at Carolina Hurricanes James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

What was originally reported a few weeks ago has become official following the closing of the NHL’s trade deadline, as Jesperi Kotkaniemi has inked a contract extension that will keep him in Raleigh through 2029-30.

Kotkaniemi, who has 23 points this season in his first year with the Canes, will earn $4.82 million AAV during his new eight-year extension.

Here is the full press release from the Canes:

RALEIGH, N.C. – Don Waddell, President and General Manager of the National Hockey League’s Carolina Hurricanes, today announced that the team has signed forward Jesperi Kotkaniemi to an eight-year contract extension. The deal will pay Kotkaniemi an average-annual value (AAV) of $4.82 million per season through 2029-30.

“Jesperi has shown us just how high his ceiling can be through his skill and work ethic, and that he is a great fit with our young core,” said Waddell. “He is still just 21 years old, and we are confident his role in our organization will continue to expand in the years to come.”

Kotkaniemi, 21, has tallied 23 points (11g, 12a) in 59 games with Carolina in 2021-22. His 11 goals are tied for his single-season career high, previously set over 79 games in 2018-19, and rank tied for sixth on the team. The 6’2”, 201-pound forward was acquired from Montreal in the offseason when the Canadiens declined to match the NHL’s first successful offer sheet since 2007. Kotkaniemi registered 62 points (22g, 40a) in 171 regular-season games with Montreal from 2018-21 and added 12 points (9g, 3a) in 29 playoff games with the team, including the overtime winner in Game 6 of the 2021 North Division First Round against Toronto. He also skated in 13 AHL games with Laval in 2019-20, recording 13 points (1g, 12a). The Pori, Finland, native earned 37 points (12g, 25a) in 67 Liiga games over two seasons with Assat and represented his home country at the 2017 and 2018 IIHF Under-18 World Championships, winning silver in 2017 and gold in 2018. Kotkaniemi was selected third overall by Montreal in the 2018 NHL Draft.

The Hurricanes host the Tampa Bay Lightning at PNC Arena on Tuesday at 7 p.m. For information about Hurricanes ticket packages, please visit www.CarolinaHurricanes.com/tickets, or call 1-866-NHL-CANES (1-866-645-2263).