Svechnikov open to discussing contract extension with Hurricanes

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Andrei Svechnikov said he is willing to discuss a contract extension with the Carolina Hurricanes before the start of next season, but will leave the negotiations to his agent, Mark Gandler.

The 20-year-old forward will be entering the final season of a three-year entry-level contract he signed on July 1, 2018, and would be eligible to become a restricted free agent when it expires.

“I’m open,” Svechnikov said Friday. “I think my agent is going to do that job and I tell him I don’t want to know anything [until] it’s going to be done. So he’s going to tell me when it’s going to be done and I just don’t want to worry about that.”

The No. 2 pick in the 2018 NHL Draft, Svechnikov was third on Carolina with 61 points (24 goals, 37 assists) in 68 games this season. He led the Hurricanes with four goals and was second scoring seven points in six postseason games, but missed the final two games of the Eastern Conference First Round against the Boston Bruins because of a high right-ankle sprain. Boston won the best-of-7 series in five games.

Hurricanes general manager Don Waddell said Monday he doesn’t have a timetable to discuss extensions with Svechnikov or defenseman Dougie Hamilton, who is eligible to become an unrestricted free agent after next season. They each became eligible to sign an extension on July 13. 

A start date for the 2020-21 NHL season has yet to be determined.

“Certainly, they are both important players for this organization and it makes more sense to get to it sooner than later,” Waddell said. “You’re looking at two different types of contracts. One (Hamilton) is going to be an unrestricted free agent come next year after the upcoming year. Andrei will be coming off his entry-level deal. So it’s two different kind of negotiations we’re looking at. There’s no timetable. There’s no deadlines. They both have another year left. … We have a good relationship with both players. I fully expect both players to want to stay here.”

Svechnikov said his ankle feels “almost 100 percent” now and that he would have been able to play in the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs if Carolina had advanced. Svechnikov initially feared his injury might be much worse, after he got tangled with Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara in Game 3 against Boston.

“It was pretty scary,” Svechnikov said. “I kind saw that moment on the video and I was like ‘No way.’ It was that hard. But I did an MRI there and everything feels fine. I think I got very lucky there.”

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