Hurricanes sign Nestrasil, make qualifying offers to others

RALEIGH, N.C. – The Carolina Hurricanes announced on Monday that the team had agreed to terms with forward Andrej Nestrasil on a two-year contract.

The deal will pay Nestrasil $875,000 in 2015-16 and $950,000 in 2016-17.

“Andrej is a big body and a good fit for our team and what we’re trying to do,” executive vice president and general manager Ron Francis said.

“He battled an injury last season, but proved he could produce offensively on the NHL level.”

By the NHL’s 5 p.m. deadline to do so, Carolina also extended qualifying offers to forwards Zach Boychuk, Justin Shugg, and Brody Sutter, along with defenseman Rasmus Rissanen.

Nestrasil, 24, appeared in his first NHL season in 2014-15, totaling seven goals and 13 assists (20 points) in 54 games with the Detroit Red Wings and the Hurricanes.

Carolina acquired him on waivers on Nov. 20, and it didn’t take him long to make an impression when scored his first NHL goal during his Hurricanes debut two days later against the Colorado Avalanche.

He tallied 18 of his 20 points for the season after joining Carolina, and led the Hurricanes in plus/minus with a plus-2 rating.

Originally Detroit’s pick in the third round (75th overall) of the 2009 NHL Entry Draft, Nestrasil completed a junior career that included representing his native Czech Republic in a number of international competitions, including the 2009 U18 World Junior Championship and the 2010 and 2011 World Junior Championships.

Nestrasil has appeared in 123 career American Hockey League (AHL) games with Grand Rapids and Charlotte, totaling 22 goals and 24 assists (46 points), and also possesses a Calder Cup championship which he earned with Grand Rapids in 2013.