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by Staff Writer / Carolina Hurricanes

RALEIGH, NC (May 19, 2000) – Jason Karmanos, Vice President and Assistant General Manager of the Carolina Hurricanes, today announced the team has agreed to terms on a multi-year contract with forward Jaroslav Svoboda (svah-BOH-duh). As per club policy, no terms were released.

“We are excited to reach an agreement with one of our top prospects, Jaroslav Svoboda,” stated Karmanos. “We feel that Jaroslav has firmly established himself as one of the premier scoring forwards in Canadian major junior hockey. Since drafting him two years ago, Jaroslav has excelled while playing against the highest level of competition, specifically during the World Junior Championships and the Canadian Hockey League playoffs.”

Svoboda, who turns 20 on June 1st, completed his second season with the Kootenay Ice of the Western Hockey League (WHL), registering 66 points (23g, 43a) in 56 games. During the WHL Playoffs, Svoboda tallied 28 points (15g, 13a) and 51 penalty minutes in 20 games, ranking first in the league in points and goals and fourth in penalty minutes. Originally drafted by the Hurricanes in the eighth round of the 1998 NHL Entry Draft, Svoboda won a gold medal playing for the Czech Republic team at the 2000 World Junior Championships and represented Kootenay in the 2000 WHL All-Star Game.

A native of Cervenka, Czech Republic, Svoboda (6’2”, 195 lbs.) earned Kootenay’s 1998-99 Rookie of the Year honors after totaling 59 points (26g, 33a) in 54 games during his first season in the Western Hockey League. On January 5, 1999, Svoboda posted franchise single-game records for most points (six) and assists (five).

Last week, Kootenay defeated the Spokane Chiefs to capture the 2000 Western Hockey League title and advance to the Memorial Cup Finals that also features champions from the Ontario Hockey League (Barrie Colts), the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (Rimouski Oceanic) and Memorial Cup host Halifax Mooseheads. The 2000 Memorial Cup Finals begin on Saturday, May 20.

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