RALEIGH, NC - Don Waddell, President and General Manager of the National Hockey League's Carolina Hurricanes, today announced that the team has reassigned forward Aleksi Saarela to the Charlotte Checkers of the American Hockey League (AHL).
Saarela, 22, led Charlotte in goals (30) and set career highs in goals, assists (24) and points (54) while skating in 69 AHL games this season. He was recalled on an emergency basis on April 19 and made his NHL debut in Game 5 at Washington, becoming the first player in franchise history to make his NHL playoff debut before making his NHL regular season debut. The 5'10", 200-pound forward has recorded 107 points (61g, 46a) in 147 career AHL games with the Checkers. He was drafted by the Rangers in the third round, 89th overall, of the 2015 NHL Draft. The Helsinki, Finland, native was acquired by Carolina from New York along with a second-round pick in the 2017 NHL Draft (Luke Martin) in exchange for Eric Staal and a second-round pick in the 2016 NHL Draft (Artur Kayumov) on Feb. 28, 2016.