Ryan Dzingel agreed to terms on a two-year, $6.75 million contract with the Carolina Hurricanes on Friday. It has an average annual value of $3.375 million.
Dzingel will receive $3.25 million this season and $3.5 million in 2020-21.
The 27-year-old forward, who was an unrestricted free agent, had an NHL career-high 56 points (26 goals, 30 assists) in 78 games last season with the Columbus Blue Jackets and Ottawa Senators, including 12 points (four goals, eight assists) in 21 games after he was traded to Columbus on Feb. 23. He had one goal in nine Stanley Cup Playoff games to help the Blue Jackets sweep the Presidents' Trophy-winning Tampa Bay Lightning in the Eastern Conference First Round for the first playoff series victory in their history.
Dzingel said he got excited about the prospect of playing for the Hurricanes following a phone conversation with Carolina coach Rod Brind'Amour.
"Coach called and talked about his style," Dzingel said. "He likes his wingers to get going and fly out of the zone. That's what I love to do. I love using my speed. It's one of my best attributes. Hearing that we want to score goals and be a high-tempo offense, and watching them last season, I thought it was a perfect fit for the way I play. I kind of played that style with [coach] Guy Boucher in Ottawa for a couple years. So I love what I heard about that. Obviously I heard nothing but great things about the coach from every single person I talked to."
"I like to think I can do it all, but at the same time, I understand that I'm a finisher. I put myself in situations to get open and use my shot. My speed and my shot are the two things I rely on the most. ... I've only been in the NHL three years now. People see my age, and I'm still growing. Every year I've gotten better, and I want to keep growing and I think I can do that."
Hurricanes general manager Don Waddell said he thinks Dzingel will be a good fit with Carolina.
"Ryan has proven that he can be an impact player offensively, putting up bigger numbers over each of his three full-time NHL seasons," Waddell said. "His speed, skill and vision make him an excellent fit for our forward group and our style of play. At 27, he's just entering his prime and certainly had options coming off a 26-goal season, so we're happy he's chosen to be a part of the Carolina Hurricanes."
Selected by Ottawa in the seventh round (No. 203) of the 2011 NHL Draft, Dzingel has 138 points (66 goals, 72 assists) in 268 regular-season games and four points (three goals, one assist) in 24 playoff games.
He said coming up as an unheralded player has always helped inspire him.
"I'm a seventh-rounder," he said. "I've been cut from a lot of teams as a younger kid. I was doubted my whole life. I compete and work hard. ... You never want to come in and [find] guys are owed anything. It's nice to come in and have to earn it. That's what I want to do.
"I pride myself on working hard and doing what it takes in the summer to get me prepared for the regular season. I'm not a guy that's privileged enough or skilled enough to come in and just show up. Playing with another chip on my shoulder and taking a two-year deal is going to help me play better and work even harder. You can never get comfortable, especially in the NHL. Someone's always coming for your job. So I'm excited to help the Hurricanes organization and make a run at this thing."
NHL.com correspondent Kurt Dusterberg contributed to this report