The Carolina Hurricanes have locked up one of their top prospects.
The Hurricanes took a break from their torrid 2021-22 season to round out a piece of their future, announcing on Wednesday that the club has signed forward Noel Gunler to a three-year entry-level contract.
The deal, which will kick in ahead of the 2022-23 season and run through 2024-25, carries an average annual value of $775,000 at the NHL level, and $80,000 at the AHL for each of its three years.
Additionally, the Hurricanes announced that Gunler will join the team's AHL affiliate, the Chicago Wolves, on a professional tryout contract for the remainder of the season.
Gunler, who was selected by the Hurricanes with the 41st pick in the 2020 NHL draft, is coming off a successful season with Brynas IF Galve of the SHL, racking up a career-best 13 goals and 23 points in 52 games. The 20-year-old winger also represented Sweden on the international stage at the 2021 World Junior Championship, scoring at a point-per-game pace with five points in five games.
"Noel is a sharpshooter who has the pace to play our up-tempo style," said Hurricanes GM Don Waddell in a statement.
"We're lucky to have him join the Wolves for their playoff run."
Measuring in at 6'2 but only 185 pounds, Gunler will likely need to grow into his somewhat lanky frame before making the leap to the NHL. Regardless, Gunler has the type of raw on-ice tools that will intrigue any Hurricanes fan, with a shot that will only become more lethal as he continues to develop on North American ice.
Despite being one of the top teams in the entire NHL, and perhaps a Stanley Cup favorite this season, the Hurricanes have done a fine job at replenishing their prospect cupboard each year.
Signing Gunler only serves as another example of that.