Hurricanes claim Andrej Nestrasil on waivers

Peter Koutroumpis, Triangle Sports Network

Peter Koutroumpis, Triangle Sports Network

RALEIGH, N.C. – The Carolina Hurricanes claimed forward Andrej Nestrasil on waivers from the Detroit Red Wings on Thursday.

Nestrasil was to join the Hurricanes on their current road swing.

“Andrej is a young player with good size who we feel can contribute to our group of forwards,” general manager Ron Francis said.

“He has improved in each of his pro seasons and took a big step last year with Grand Rapids.”

Nestrasil, 23, made his NHL debut in Detroit’s season opener on Oct. 9, and earned two assists in 13 games with the Red Wings so far this season.

He spent all of the 2013-14 season with Detroit’s American Hockey League (AHL) affiliate, the Grand Rapids Griffins, posting 16 goals and 20 assists (36 points) in 70 regular-season games.

Nestrasil ranked tied for fourth in scoring among Griffins skaters in the postseason with six points (4g, 2a) in Grand Rapids’ 10 Calder Cup playoff games.

The Red Wings drafted the six-foot-three-inch, 200-pound Prague, Czech Republic native in the third round (75th overall) of the 2009 NHL Entry Draft out of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL) where he played three seasons in Victoriaville and P.E.I.

Since turning professional in 2011-12, Nestrasil has scored 22 goals and earned 24 assists (46 points) in 120 AHL regular-season games, and was part of an AHL Calder Cup championship with the Griffins in 2013.

He has also totaled 18 goals and 52 assists in 91 regular-season games played with the East Coast Hockey League’s (ECHL) Toledo Walleye, and represented the Czech Republic at the 2009 International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) World Under-18 Championship, as well as the 2010 and 2011 World Junior Championship tournaments.