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Canes Qualify van Riemsdyk, Three Others

McKegg, Wallmark & Zykov also tendered qualifying offers

by Michael Smith @MSmithCanes /

The Carolina Hurricanes today extended qualifying offers to defenseman Trevor van Riemsdyk and forwards Greg McKegg, Lucas Wallmark and Valentin Zykov.

In doing so, the Hurricanes retain negotiating rights to these restricted free agents, a group headlined by van Riemsdyk, who the Hurricanes acquired from the Vegas Golden Knights (by way of Chicago) just over a year ago. The 26-year-old defenseman played in 79 of the Hurricanes' 82 games in 2017-18 and recorded 16 points (3g, 13a) and led the team with a plus-9 rating.

Wallmark and Zykov both saw time with the big club this season. Wallmark scored his first NHL goal in St. Louis on Dec. 30, his first game with the Hurricanes in 2017-18. He logged 10 more games in the back half of the season and has totaled three points (1g, 2a) in his 19 NHL games. Despite playing in just 45 games with the Charlotte Checkers in 2017-18, Wallmark still recorded 55 points (17g, 38a), a 1.22 points-per-game average, top among all skaters in the AHL who played more than 10 games.

Zykov earned a recall from Charlotte in late March and finished the season with three goals and four assists (seven points) in 10 games with the Canes in 2017-18. He scored two goals in the Canes' 6-5 win over the Arizona Coyotes on March 22, which kick-started a three-game point streak (3g, 2a) for the 23-year-old Russian winger. Zykov assembled a career year with the Checkers, as he led the AHL with 33 goals and finished with a team-best 54 points (33g, 21a).

The Hurricanes acquired McKegg from Pittsburgh in exchange for Josh Jooris at the trade deadline. In the 19 games McKegg played for the Checkers down the stretch of the season, he found the scoresheet in all but two, recording 23 points (9g, 14a) in that stretch.

Pending restricted free agents Trevor Carrick and Andrew Poturalski were each re-signed to one-year, two-way contracts within the last month.

Forward Phil Di Giuseppe was not extended a qualifying offer, but the Hurricanes are deep in negotiations to bring him back. UPDATE: That didn't take long. The Canes have re-signed Di Giuseppe to a one-year deal worth $750,000.

Forwards Joakim Nordstrom and Sergey Tolchinsky and defensemen Klas Dahlbeck, Tyler Ganly and Keegan Kanzig were also not tendered qualifying offers and will become unrestricted free agents on Sunday, July 1. Dahlbeck signed a one-year contract with CSKA Moscow (KHL) on June 1, while Tolchinsky is headed to CSKA Moscow as well.

The following players are also set to become unrestricted free agents within the week: forwards Derek Ryan, Lee Stempniak and Andrew Miller, defensemen Jake Chelios, Brenden Kichton, Dennis Robertson and Philip Samuelsson and goaltenders Cam Ward and Jeremy Smith.

Get a visual look at players under contract with the organization with our contract tracker.

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