ALL THREE PROSPECTS HAVE NHL EXPERIENCE
RALEIGH, N.C. (Aug. 1, 2002) – Jason Karmanos, Vice President and Assistant General Manager of the Eastern Conference champion Carolina Hurricanes, today announced the team has signed defenseman Nikos Tselios (NEE-kohs TSEHL-ee-ohs) and forward/defenseman Kaspars Astashenko (KAHS-pars ahs-tuh-SHEHN-koh) to one-year contracts and forward Jesse Boulerice (BOO-luhr-ighs) to a two-year contract. As per club policy, terms of the deals were not announced.
Tselios (6’5’’, 220 lbs.) made his NHL debut for Carolina on April 12, 2002 against the Florida Panthers after being recalled by the Hurricanes on April 7 from Lowell of the American Hockey League (AHL). He played in two games with Carolina, registering six penalty minutes. Prior to his recall, Tselios, 23, had tallied 19 points (3g, 16a) in 70 games for the Hurricanes’ top minor league affiliate in Lowell. Tselios, Carolina’s first round draft choice (22nd overall) in the 1997 NHL Entry Draft, scored 47 points (10g, 37a) in 159 games with Cincinnati of the International Hockey League during his first two professional seasons in 1999-00 and 2000-01. He tallied 146 points (40g, 106a) in 185 games with Belleville and Plymouth of the Ontario Hockey League (OHL) in his three-year junior hockey career.
Astashenko (6’2’’, 190 lbs.) played 37 games for Lowell after being acquired by the Hurricanes organization from the Tampa Bay Lightning on Dec. 28, 2001 in exchange for defenseman Harlan Pratt. Prior to the trade, Astashenko had played 11 games with Springfield of the AHL, totaling two points (0g, 2a) and 15 penalty minutes. The Riga, Latvia native has 23 games of NHL experience with Tampa Bay, accumulating three points (1g, 2a) and 8 penalty minutes in parts of the 1999-2000 and 2000-2001 seasons. He has played 240 minor league games, totaling 57 points (12g, 45a) and 378 penalty minutes. Astashenko was Tampa Bay’s fifth round pick (127th overall) in the 1999 NHL Entry Draft. He represented Latvia at the 2002 Winter Olympic Games in Salt Lake City along with Hurricanes goaltender Arturs Irbe, tallying one points (0g, 1a) in three games. Astashenko can play both forward and defense, although he played the majority of the time at wing last season for Lowell.
Carolina acquired Boulerice (6’2’’, 203 lbs.) on Feb. 13, 2002 from the Philadelphia Flyers in exchange for Greg Koehler. Boulerice, 23, completed his fourth season in the AHL last year, splitting the season between the Philadelphia Phantoms and Lowell Lock Monsters. He also made his NHL debut for the Flyers prior to the trade, playing his first game on Oct. 6 in a 3-3 tie against Columbus. He played three NHL games for the Flyers, tallying five penalty minutes. Philadelphia’s fourth choice in the 1996 NHL Entry Draft, Boulerice had 13 points (4g, 9a) and 284 penalty minutes in 56 AHL games with the Phantoms and Lock Monsters last season. Boulerice has 30 points (11g, 19a) and 707 penalty minutes in 180 career AHL games over four seasons. The Plattsburgh, NY native has also played 37 career games in the East Coast Hockey League (ECHL), totaling 17 points (8g, 9a) and 128 penalty minutes.