RALEIGH, NC - Ron Francis, Executive Vice President and General Manager of the National Hockey League's Carolina Hurricanes, today announced that the team has recalled forward Aleksi Saarela from the American Hockey League's Charlotte Checkers. In addition, the Hurricanes placed forward Marcus Kruger on injured reserve with a lower-body injury.
Saarela, 20, currently ranks third among Checkers skaters with 13 goals this season, and has totaled 19 points in 31 games played in 2017-18. Originally selected by the New York Rangers in the third round of the 2015 NHL Draft, Saarela was acquired by the Hurricanes on Feb. 27, 2016, along with second-round picks in the 2016 and 2017 drafts in exchange for Eric Staal.
Prior to beginning his North American professional career last season, Saarela played parts of four seasons in the top Finnish league, Liiga, totaling 77 points (42g, 35a) in 166 games with Assat Pori and Lukko Rauma. The Helsinki native has represented Finland in a number of international tournaments, winning gold along with Sebastian Aho at the 2016 World Junior Championship.