RALEIGH — The Carolina Hurricanes and restricted free agent Teuvo Teravainen came to terms on a new deal Thursday, agreeing to a two-year contract that will pay the Finnish forward $2.86 million a season.
Teravainen, 22, came to Carolina exactly one year ago in a trade with Chicago that brought him and Bryan Bickell to Raleigh in exchange for two draft picks. Teravainen, who won a Stanley Cup with the Blackhawks in 2015, put up career-high numbers with the Hurricanes last season, establishing bests in goals (15), assists (27), points (42) and games played (81). He was selected 18th overall by Chicago in the 2012 draft.
“Teuvo is a highly-skilled player and an important part of what we are building here,” Hurricanes general manager Ron Francis said in a press release. “He’s still a very young player and we look forward to seeing him take the next step in a Hurricanes uniform.”
The bridge contract is similar to the one teammate Elias Lindholm received following his three-year entry-level contract. Lindholm’s deal kicked in last year and paid him $2.7 million last season and in 2017-18. Getting Teravainen under contract leaves little in-house business remaining for Francis. Brock McGinn, Phil Di Giuseppe, Andrej Nestrasil and a few others who split time between Raleigh and the team’s AHL affiliate in Charlotte are also RFAs, while among unrestricted free agents from last year’s team only Derek Ryan seems like a player the team could try to re-sign.
Francis, however, will likely be busy in the next week, armed with 10 draft picks and the cap space to make deals with teams in cap trouble or that are at risk of losing a significant asset at the upcoming Vegas expansion draft. The team currently has three goaltenders signed to one-way deals — newcomer Scott Darling, longtime starter Cam Ward and Eddie Lack — and one is likely on the way out prior to the 2017-18 season. Francis can also start negotiating with players whose contracts expire following next season, so new deals for defensemen Noah Hanifin, Brett Pesce and Jaccob Slavin, along with Lindholm are possibilities.
The expansion draft will be held Wednesday and the NHL Draft, being held in Chicago, is next Friday and Saturday, June 23-24. The lists of protected and unprotected players for the expansion draft are expected to be released this Sunday.