RALEIGH, NC - Don Waddell, President and General Manager of the National Hockey League's Carolina Hurricanes, today announced that the team has recalled forward Aleksi Saarela from the Charlotte Checkers of the American Hockey League (AHL) on an emergency basis and reassigned defenseman Jake Bean to Charlotte.
Saarela, 22, posted 54 points (30g, 24a) in 69 AHL games with the Checkers this season, leading the team in goals and setting career highs in goals, assists and points. The 5'10", 200-pound forward tied for the AHL league lead in game-winning goals (9) and finished tied for second in the league in overtime goals (3). Saarela is looking to become the first player in franchise history to make his NHL playoff debut before making his NHL regular season debut. The Helsinki, Finland, native has registered 107 points (61g, 46a) in 147 career AHL games with Charlotte. Saarela was drafted by the Rangers in the third round, 89th overall, of the 2015 NHL Draft. He 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.
Bean, 20, was recalled on April 7 and served as a healthy extra during the Hurricanes' last four games. He registered 44 points (13g, 31a) in 70 AHL games with the Checkers during the regular season, finishing second among rookie AHL defensemen in goals and points and third in assists. The 6'1", 181-pound defenseman made his NHL debut on Nov. 27 at Montreal and played two NHL games with Carolina this season. The Calgary, Alta., native was drafted by Carolina in the first round, 13th overall, of the 2016 NHL Draft.