The Carolina Hurricanes have taken care of business with a would-be restricted free agent. The team has announced that they have come to terms on a one-year contract extension with forward Spencer Smallman. Smallman has signed a two-way contract that pays him the minimum $750K in the NHL and $75$K in the AHL. The deal comes in slightly below Smallman’s $772K qualifying offer.
Smallman, 24, is still a ways away from seeing any of his NHL salary. Smallman is a gritty, hand-working forward with character, but it will take more than that to advance his career. Smallman was able to produce on talented QMJHL Champion Saint John Sea Dogs team in his final year of junior hockey in 2016-17, but has failed to make an impact at the pro level. The 2015 fifth-round pick has played in only 90 games total over four pro seasons, 65 in the AHL and 25 in the ECHL. Smallman has failed to assert himself as an AHL regular to this point, due in no small part to just three goals and 21 points in his AHL experience (compared to 27 points in 40 fewer ECHL games).
Yet, the Hurricanes like his work ethic enough to re-sign him to an NHL contact, believing that he can still work his way into becoming a potential depth option. With two other important RFA forwards in Andrei Svechnikov and Warren Foegele and just ten players total on one-way contracts heading into next year, Smallman was the least of Carolina’s worries this off-season. They can now move on and focus on what should be a busy summer.