WINNIPEG, MB – The Hurricanes weren’t the only team to make a bid for Andrej Nestrasil. But they’re his new team after Carolina claimed the former Red Wings’ prospect off waivers Thursday afternoon.
“Andrej is a young player with good size who we feel can contribute to our group of forwards,” Hurricanes general manager Ron Francis said in a press release Thursday afternoon. “He has improved in each of his pro seasons and took a big step last year with Grand Rapids.”
Nestrasil showed great improvement in his time in the American Hockey League where he played three seasons with the Grifffins. He produced 22 goals and 45 points in 120 games. Last season was his best as a pro, registering 16 goals and 35 points in 70 games.
The Hurricanes now must keep Nestrasil on their NHL roster for 30 days. After that they can put him on waivers for the purpose of sending him down to their AHL affiliate in Charlotte. The Red Wings will see their former teammate when they visit Raleigh on Dec. 7.
Nestrasil made the Red Wings’ opening night roster and stay with the NHL club even though he had been a healthy scratch in five of the past eight games.
Still, the Red Wings were willing to risk exposing their former third-round draft pick from five years ago, in order to activate veteran center Stephen Weiss from injured reserve. Weiss has been assigned to Grand Rapids, where he will complete a rehabilitation assignment this weekend with the Griffins, who have a home-and-home series against Lake Erie.
Nestrasil is the first Wings player lost to waivers since Calgary claimed backup goalie Joey MacDonald during the lockout-shortened season in 2013.
Nestrasil had two assists with a minus-3 rating in 13 games with the Wings.