The Carolina Hurricanes and Finnish forward Tuomo Ruutu have agreed to terms on a four-year $19 million contract, the National Hockey League team (NHL) said on Wednesday.

The deal will pay Ruutu $4 million for the 2012-13 NHL season and $5 million in each of the 2013-14, 2014-15 and 2015-16 campaigns, the Hurricanes said in a statement.

"Players like Tuomo are extremely difficult to replace, and it is very important for our franchise to keep him here long term," said Hurricanes General Manager Jim Rutherford.

Ruutu, who won a bronze medal with Finland at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, was taken by Chicago with the ninth pick in the 2001 NHL Entry Draft and was traded to Carolina in 2008.

The 29-year-old is second highest scorer for the Hurricanes in goals (17) and fourth in points (30) this season.

(Reporting by Frank Pingue in Toronto, editing by Ed Osmond)