Canes sign forward Jordan Martinook to a two-year contract extension

Jordan Martinook has been called the “perfect fit” for the Carolina Hurricanes throughout his first year with the team.

The forward, acquired in a trade in May with the Arizona Coyotes, has played up and down the lineup, played center and wing, killed penalties and been physical when need be. He also has been something of a big brother and mentor to rookie forward Andrei Svechnikov.

The Canes on Tuesday signed Martinook, 26, to a two-year, $4 million contract extension for the 2019-2020 and 2020-21 seasons. Martinook is in the final year of a contract that pays him $1.8 million.

Martinook has modest offensive numbers this season: 10 goals and three assists in 50 games, and three of the goals came in his first career hat trick Nov. 23 against the Florida Panthers. But he leads the team in hits (125) and his 28 blocked shots is the highest total among the forwards.

“Jordan has really fit in well with our group and provides veteran leadership both on and off the ice,” general manager Don Waddell said in a statement.

In the May 3 trade with the Coyotes, the Canes acquired Martinook and Arizona’s fourth-round selection in the 2018 NHL Draft for center Marcus Kruger and Carolina’s third-round pick in the 2018 Draft. The Canes also retained 10 percent of Kruger’s salary this season.

Asked after the trade to describe his style of play, Martinook said, “A hard-working guy who takes pride in penalty killing. I may not be the fastest guy on the ice but I try to be the most hard-working.”

As it turns out, a pretty apt description.

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In more than 30 years at The N&O, Chip Alexander has covered the N.C. State, UNC, Duke and East Carolina beats, and now is in his 11th season on the Carolina Hurricanes beat. Alexander, who has won numerous writing awards at the state and national level, covered the Hurricanes’ move to North Carolina in 1997 and was a part of The N&O’s coverage of the Canes’ 2006 Stanley Cup run.