Carolina Hurricanes announce recent signings as free agency approaches

Chris Baird, Triangle Sports Network
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Chris Baird, Triangle Sports Network

RALEIGH, N.C. – The Carolina Hurricanes announced a handful of signings early in the week heading into the Free Agency deadline signing period that begins July 1.

The team’s most notable move was to agree to terms with Derek Ryan.

The 30-year-old journeyman forward set National Hockey League (NHL) career highs in goals (11), assists (18), and points (29) in 2016-17, which earned him a one-year contract that will pay $1.425 million for the 2017-18 season.

“Derek proved he belonged in the NHL last season,” executive vice president and general manager Ron Francis said.

“He brings skill and versatility to our lineup and sets an example for our younger players with his character and determination off the ice.”

Ryan, who was signed as a free agent in June 2015, led the Hurricanes in shooting percentage (14.1%) and was tied for fourth on the team in power-play goals (4) and eighth in power-play points (8).

Ryan was a finalist for the NHL’s Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy, awarded annually to the player who best exemplifies qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to the game.

Also announced on Monday was Carolina’s signing of defenseman Trevor Carrick.

Carrick was inked to a one-year, two-way contract that will pay him $670,000 at the NHL level or $77,500 at the American Hockey League (AHL) level in 2017-18.

The 22-year-old blueliner scored four goals and added 12 assists (16 points) in 57 AHL games with the Charlotte Checkers in 2016-17.

Carrick, a fourth round pick (115th overall) in the 2012 NHL Draft, has totaled 90 points (20g, 70a) in 203 career AHL games with the Checkers, and led the team in assists (33) during the 2015-16 season.

He made his NHL debut with Carolina against the Washington Capitals on Mar. 15, 2016, and has appeared in two career NHL games.

On Tuesday, the Hurricanes signed another forward and defenseman as Patrick Brown and Jake Chelios each agreed to terms on one-year, two-way contracts.

Brown’s deal will pay $650,000 at the NHL level or $160,000 at the AHL level, with a guarantee of $190,000.

Brown, 25, completed his third professional season in 2016-17 with 12 goals and 16 assists (28 points) with the Checkers to go along with 14 NHL games played with the Hurricanes.

In 196 career AHL regular-season games with Charlotte, Brown has tallied 63 points (27g, 36a), and has skated in 28 career NHL games with Carolina, scoring one goal and earning one assist (2 points).

Chelios will earn $650,000 at the NHL level or $85,000 at the AHL level during the 2017-18 season.

Signed as a free agent by the Hurricanes on April 22, 2016, Chelios led all Checkers defensemen in scoring during the 2016-17 season with a career-high 32 points.

The 26-year-old D-man also established career bests in assists (28), plus/minus (+8) and shots on goal (152), serving as Charlotte’s alternate captain and team captain at various points throughout the season.

He was the only Checkers skater to appear in all 76 of the team’s games, and his plus-21 rating from Jan. 10 through the end of the season ranked second among all AHL players.

Chelios has totaled 134 points (12g, 67a) in 194 career AHL games with Chicago and Charlotte.