Carolina Hurricanes continue to reinforce organizational stability

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

RALEIGH, N.C. – Heading into the 2017 NHL Expansion Draft, the Carolina Hurricanes recently announced more moves that maintained organizational structure and development on and off the ice.

Vellucci new bench boss in Charlotte

On Thursday, the team announced that assistant general manager Mike Vellucci would add the title and duties of head coach of its American Hockey League (AHL) affiliate, the Charlotte Checkers.

“Mike has more than 20 years of coaching experience, including more than 800 games as a head coach in the Ontario League,” executive vice president and general manager Ron Francis said.

“He is excited to get back behind the bench and we appreciate his willingness to take on this additional responsibility.”

In his fourth season with the organization, the 50-year-old Vellucci joined the Hurricanes in April 2014 after 14 seasons with the Ontario Hockey League’s (OHL) Plymouth Whalers, serving as head coach and general manager for the majority of that time.

He led Plymouth to a 468-322-36 record during his time in the OHL, and he was the first American to win the Matt Leyden Trophy as OHL coach of the year after the Whalers captured the OHL championship in 2006-07, as well as being named OHL Coach of the Year and Executive of the Year in 2012-13.

Vellucci’s coaching resume also includes his time with Detroit Compuware of the North American Hockey League (NAHL), where his teams went 241-82-27 in the regular season from 1994-99, and captured U.S. national championships in 1994 and 1999.

The Ambassadors also captured two NAHL regular-season titles and four Robertson Cups.

The Hartford Whalers’ seventh-round pick in the 1987 NHL Entry Draft, Vellucci played for Hartford during the 1987-88 season along with professional stints in the IHL, AHL, ECHL and BHL from 1986-89.

Teravainen signed for two more years

Also on Thursday, Carolina announced that the team had agreed to terms with forward Teuvo Teravainen on a two-year contract.

The deal will pay Teravainen $2.86 million per season in 2017-18 and 2018-19.

“Teuvo is a highly-skilled player and an important part of what we are building here,” Francis said.

“He’s still a very young player and we look forward to seeing him take the next step in a Hurricanes uniform.”

Teravainen, 22, established career highs in games played (81), goals (15), assists (27) and points (42) in 2016-17.

He ranked second among Hurricanes skaters in power-play points (15) and fifth in assists during his first season with the club.

Originally selected by the Blackhawks in the first round (18th overall) of the 2012 NHL Draft, Teravainen was acquired by Carolina on June 16, 2016, along with Bryan Bickell in exchange for a second-round selection in the 2016 NHL Draft and a third-round pick in 2017.

He has totaled 86 points (32g, 54a) in 196 career regular-season games with Chicago and Carolina, and has earned 11 points (4g, 7a) in 25 career postseason contests, capturing the Stanley Cup with the Blackhawks in 2015.

Internationally, Teravainen has represented Finland in a number of international competitions, including the 2016 World Cup of Hockey, alongside fellow Hurricanes forward Sebastian Aho.