The Carolina Hurricanes have signed one of their restricted free agents, inking Steven Lorentz to a two-year, two-way contract. It will pay him $700K in the NHL this season and $750K next, the league minimum in both years. Hurricanes GM Don Waddell released a short statement:
Steven took a big step forward this season. He was an impact player on the AHL level and we believe he will contribute in the NHL in the future.
Lorentz, 24, was a seventh-round selection by the Hurricanes back in 2015 but has quickly climbed the organizational depth chart. After starting his professional career at the ECHL level, he became a full-time AHL player in 2018-19 and then a star in 2019-20. Scoring 23 goals and 46 points in 61 games for the Charlotte Checkers, the 6’4″ forward trailed only Jake Bean for the team lead in scoring.
Now, with the AHL season still shrouded in uncertainty, Lorentz will try to establish himself as an NHL option that could step in when another player is injured. The Hurricanes are already loaded with at least 12 legitimate NHL forwards, but he can compete for the last few spots and potentially make his debut in 2020-21.