The Hurricanes completed their restricted free agent business by agreeing to terms on a one-year, two-way contract with defenseman Rasmus Rissanen on Wednesday.
Along with Michal Jordan, who re-signed earlier this month, Rissanen, 23, would give the Checkers another experienced option on a blue line that has seen an influx of younger players in recent years – a movement that will continue with Trevor Carrick and Dennis Robertson becoming full-time pros next season. Jordan (267) and Rissanen (188) rank first and third, respectively, in all-time games played by a Checkers defenseman, while no other blueliner currently under contract has played more AHL games than Danny Biega’s 65.
Last season, Rissanen set career highs with seven assists, 10 points and 91 penalty minutes despite missing 14 games due to injury. The Kuopio, Finland, native and sixth-round draft pick of the Hurricanes in 2009 ranked third on the team in penalty minutes in each of his last two seasons. He is also third on the franchise’s all-time penalty minute list with 232.
Other restricted free agents to previously re-sign with Carolina include forwards Zach Boychuk, Greg Nemisz, Justin Shugg and Jared Staal. One of nine players to play at least one game for the Checkers in all four of their AHL seasons, Rissanen has yet to make his NHL debut.
- Written by Paul Branecky