CALGARY (JUNE 24, 2000) – Jim Rutherford, Chief Executive Officer and General Manager of the Carolina Hurricanes, today announced the team has acquired four-time All-Star defenseman Sandis Ozolinsh and a second round pick (32nd overall) in the 2000 NHL Entry Draft from the Colorado Avalanche in exchange of defenseman Nolan Pratt, the Hurricanes’ first round pick (14th overall) and two second round picks (47th and 63rd) in the 2000 NHL Entry Draft.
“We are excited to announce this draft day acquisition,” said Rutherford. “Sandis Ozolinsh is one of the top offensive defenseman in the NHL. He consistently scores more than 50 points a season and is a perennial All-Star. Most importantly, he immediately makes our club more talented and will allow us the opportunity to be more creative offensively.”
Ozolinsh, 27, completed his eighth season in the NHL last year, posting 52 points (16g, 36a) and 46 penalty minutes in 82 games. Ozolinsh (6’3”, 205 lbs.) finished tied for seventh among NHL defensemen in scoring last season and was named to start in the All-Star game for the third time in his career. He has played in a total of four All-Star games and won a Stanley Cup as a member of the 1995-96 Colorado Avalanche. During the 1996-97 season, the Riga, Lativa native was named a finalist for the Norris Trophy which recognizes the league’s top defenseman after establishing career highs in assists (45) and points (68).
Drafted by San Jose in the second round (30th overall) of the 1991 NHL Entry Draft, Ozolinsh spent four seasons with the Sharks before being traded to Colorado in exchange of Owen Nolan on October 26, 1995. Ozolinsh has totaled 368 points (115g, 253a) and 369 penalty minutes in 505 games in the NHL.
Pratt, 24, finished his fourth season with the Hurricanes after being selected with the team’s fourth pick (115th overall) in the 1993 NHL Entry Draft. Last season, the Fort McMurray, Alberta native totaled four points (3g, 1a) in 64 games and ranked second on team with 90 penalty minutes. Over his career, Pratt has registered 23 points (4g, 19a) and 235 penalty minutes in 157 games with the franchise.