The Carolina Hurricanes’ Andrej Nestrasil contacted Martin Frk on Saturday, soon after Frk was placed on waivers by the Detroit Red Wings.
The two forwards played junior hockey together in their native Czech Republic. Nestrasil, like Frk, once was in the Red Wings system until Nestrasil was put on waivers in November 2014 — and taken by the Canes.
“We’re good buddies,” Nestrasil said Sunday. “We live together in the summer and work out with the same people. I messaged him (Saturday) and said I’d get the guest bedroom ready for him, just joking around.”
Just before practice Sunday, Nestrasil learned that he would soon have a roommate. The Hurricanes claimed Frk, 23, on waivers.
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Nor was Frk the only Czech to join the Canes. Carolina also announced Sunday it had signed defenseman Jakub Nakladal to a one-year contract.
Frk, 23, played 67 games last season with the Grand Rapids Griffins, the Wings’ American Hockey League affiliate. He had 27 goals and 17 assists, and his 11 power-play goals tied for fifth in the AHL.
“He’s a pure goal-scorer,” Nestrasil said. “He has an unbelievable shot. He’s very good around the net. He can find the puck and bury it.”
Frk, who will join the Canes for practice Tuesday, was a second-round pick by the Wings in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft. A native of Pelhrimov, Cze., he’s listed at 6-foot-1 and 194 pounds and has played three full professional seasons, although he has yet to make his NHL debut.
Nakladal, 28, was signed to a one-year contract that will pay him $600,000 for the 2016-17 season. He appeared in 27 games with the Calgary Flames last season, averaging 14:11 of ice time per game, and the Hradec Kralove, Cze., native also appeared in 35 AHL games with Stockton.
Nakladal, who shoots right-handed, recently competed for the Czech Republic in the World Cup of Hockey.
“Jakub was solid in his first professional season in North America last season, and played well at the World Cup,” Canes general manager Ron Francis said in a statement. “This gives us additional depth and experience along the blue line as we open the season this week.”
Defenseman Justin Faulk suffered a lower-body injury Friday in the Canes’ seventh and last preseason game, missing practice Saturday and Sunday. Defenseman Ryan Murphy also is out for another three weeks with a lower-lower injury.
Canes coach Bill Peters said Sunday that Faulk was “day to day.” He said he would be shocked if Faulk did not play the season-opener on the road Thursday against the Winnipeg Jets, but added, “I’m not going to assume anything.”
Peters said Faulk’s injury was “totally different” from the bothersome high ankle sprain he had last season but did not specify the injury.
The Canes still have defensemen Haydn Fleury, Roland McKeown and Trevor Carrick on the roster, and Peters said the team may have 22 or 23 players on the roster for the opener.