Though it was reported on the first day of free agency, the Carolina Hurricanes have only just now officially announced a contract for Jalen Chatfield. The free agent defenseman has agreed to terms on a one-year, two-way deal that will pay him $750K at the NHL level. Chatfield was a Group VI unrestricted free agent after spending the first few years of his career with the Vancouver Canucks organization.
The Hurricanes have also signed Sam Miletic to a one-year, two-way contract that carries an NHL salary of $750K. Miletic did not receive a qualifying offer from the Pittsburgh Penguins, making him an unrestricted free agent. Hurricanes GM Don Waddell released statements on both players:
Jalen is a reliable defenseman who can kill penalties. He’s coming off his first NHL season and we’re thrilled to add him to our organization.
Sam is a playmaking forward who has been an All-Star in the AHL. We’re excited for him to take the next steps in his development.
It’s been a long grind for Chatfield, 25, who went undrafted out of the OHL but signed with the Canucks in 2017. He spent three full seasons in the minor leagues, skating for the Utica Comets of the AHL, before receiving his first NHL opportunity this year. With the taxi squad in place, Chatfield didn’t have to go to the minor leagues anymore, but he still wasn’t receiving regular playing time with the Canucks. In 18 games, he recorded one point.
Miletic meanwhile is in a very similar situation, though he hasn’t received any NHL chances. The 24-year-old forward was signed as an undrafted free agent out of the OHL and has played three seasons with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins. After registering just five points in 21 games this year, the Penguins cut him loose.
For both players, it seems more likely that they’ll be in the AHL than the NHL this season, but these contracts do still leave the possibility of a call-up open. To play with the Chicago Wolves of the AHL, they’ll both need to clear waivers.