Now that his season overseas has ended, Noel Gunler is on his way to North America. The Carolina Hurricanes have signed Gunler to a three-year, entry-level contract that starts in 2022-23, and an AHL professional tryout contract for the rest of this season. The young forward will join the Chicago Wolves for now, something Hurricanes general manager Don Waddell mentioned in a statement:
Noel is a sharpshooter who has the pace to play our up-tempo style. We’re lucky to have him join the Wolves for their playoff run.
Gunler, 20, was selected in the second round in 2020, 41st overall after his first full season in the SHL. After impressing at the World Juniors last year, and finding his way to Brynas, he’s taken his game to an entirely new level, scoring 13 goals and 23 points in 52 games. While those numbers don’t pop out and suggest he’ll become an immediate star in North America, Gunler’s upside is significant.
For the Hurricanes, adding another prospect with a high offensive ceiling is important, but it’s the Wolves who are going to benefit the quickest. Chicago is currently the best team in the AHL with a 40-11-10 record and figure to be a top contender for the Calder Cup. Adding another young talent will only help that chase, and allow Gunler to jump right into a competitive atmosphere to start his career with the Hurricanes organization.