Hurricanes sign Jesperi Kotkaniemi to 8-year extension

The Hurricanes acquired Kotkaniemi in September

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The Carolina Hurricanes have signed forward Jesperi Kotkaniemi to an eight-year extension, which would keep the 21-year-old forward with the franchise through the 2029-30 season.

The team said the deal will have an average-annual value of $4.82 million. Carolina announced the deal Monday, the same day the Hurricanes acquired forward Max Domi and defenseman Tyler Inamoto in a three-team deal ahead of the trade deadline.

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Carolina Hurricanes' Jesperi Kotkaniemi (82) controls the puck as he skates around Washington Capitals goaltender Ilya Samsonov (30) during the second period of an NHL hockey game in Raleigh, N.C., Friday, March 18, 2022.

Carolina Hurricanes' Jesperi Kotkaniemi (82) controls the puck as he skates around Washington Capitals goaltender Ilya Samsonov (30) during the second period of an NHL hockey game in Raleigh, N.C., Friday, March 18, 2022. (AP Photo/Karl B DeBlaker)

The Hurricanes acquired Kotkaniemi in September. The team signed the restricted free agent and former No. 3 overall draft pick from 2018 to a one-year, $6.1 million offer sheet in August, and Montreal opted not to match the deal in the league’s first successful offer-sheet acquisition since 2007.

It was a response to Montreal trying to poach Carolina’s Sebastian Aho the same way in 2019, though the Hurricanes matched the five-year offer sheet to keep him. But team president and general manager Don Waddell said the team wanted to reach a long-term deal with a player the team believes has good upside.

"We’re all confident he’s going to continue to grow his game, continue to learn and put up bigger numbers than even what he’s doing right now." Waddell said.

The 6-foot-2, 201-pound Kotkaniemi has 11 goals and 12 assists this year for Carolina, matching his rookie year for his best goals output.