Martin Necas is one of the biggest-name restricted free agents still out there on the market. The 2017 12th overall pick had a disappointing year in 2021-22, but in 2020-21 had the makings of a future star, scoring 41 points in 53 games, a 63-point pace. Necas didn’t have the game-by-game impact many expected him to have last year, though, and he was supplanted in the Hurricanes’ forward pecking order by fast-rising rookie Seth Jarvis. He needs a new contract, and despite many speculating that he may need a change of scenery, Hurricanes GM Don Waddell remains focused on ironing out an extension.
Per Chip Alexander of the Raleigh News & Observer, Waddell is nearing that goal. Waddell is quoted as saying that the team and Necas’ camp are negotiating on an “almost a daily basis” and that a deal is “getting close.” Waddell even takes it a step further, saying definitively that “it’s going to get done.” Despite a disappointing most recent season, it’s in the best interest for the Hurricanes to get Necas locked into an extension. While he’s mostly played as a winger in the NHL, Necas has prior experience as a center and could be in a position to seize a top-six center spot should Jesperi Kotkaniemi struggle in that role.
Now, for some other notes from across the NHL:
- Canadian forward Macklin Celebrini, a player currently projected to be a top prospect for the 2024 NHL draft, has committed to an NCAA school. Per NBC Sports Chicago’s Colby Cohen, Celebrini has committed to the Boston University, and will play there after spending next season with the USHL’s Chicago Steel. Celebrini has spent the past two seasons at minor hockey powerhouse Shattuck St. Mary’s, a school in Minnesota that has an impressive list of NHL alumni including Sidney Crosby, Kyle Okposo, and many others. Celebrini is expected to be a top player in the USHL before he heads to the NCAA.
- Yesterday, we covered how former NHL defenseman Mark Barberio had agreed to a mutual contract termination with his club, Lausanne HC. Now, we know where Barberio will be spending 2022-23. Per a team announcement, KHL club HC Dynamo Minsk has signed Barberio to a one-year deal. Barberio last appeared in the NHL in 2019-20, getting into 21 games with the Colorado Avalanche. 2022-23 will mark his return to the KHL after spending six games with HC Ak Bars Kazan last season, where he scored three points.