The Carolina Hurricanes announced today that they have signed 2020 second round pick Noel Gunler to an entry-level contract. The deal pays Gunler $775,000 at the NHL level and $80,000 at the AHL level, coming with a signing bonus of $262,500. Gunler just wrapped up his SHL season yesterday, with his team losing in the play-in round for the SHL playoffs. During the season, Gunler scored 13 goals and finished with 23 points in 52 games, good for fourth on the team in scoring. Hurricanes General Manager Don Waddell had this to say about Gunler, in the team release:
“Noel is a sharpshooter who has the pace to play our up-tempo style,” said Waddell. “We’re lucky to have him join the Wolves for their playoff run.”
Gunler is a great addition to the already deep prospect pool that the Hurricanes have. He’s a legitimate goal scorer that doesn’t sacrifice defensive responsibility when he’s on the ice. The past concerns about Gunler’s attitude have been overblown and unwarranted, and Gunler seems like a great fit here. I think he can thrive under Ryan Warsofsky’s system. It’s a system that focuses on pace and all-out attack, much like the system that Rod Brind’Amour implements. He likely spends at least two years in the AHL to adjust to the North American game and continue to round out his game. There are some wrinkles that he needs to smooth out before getting to the NHL, but I believe in him. The offensive skill alone makes me believe that he could slot into the team’s top six in the future.