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Canes sign defenseman Fredrik Claesson to one-year contract

The Carolina Hurricanes added to their defensive depth Tuesday, signing defenseman Fredrik Claesson to a one-year, two-way contract for the 2019-20 season.

Claesson, 26, will be paid $700,000 at the NHL level and $100,000 at the AHL level. He received a $200,000 guarantee.

“It took a long time into the summer and couple days into training camp, but now that I get to be here for this year feels really good,” Claesson said Tuesday. “It’s really good competition, too, so it will be fun.”

Claesson, a native of Stockholm, Sweden, played 37 games with the New York Rangers last season, finishing with two goals and four assists. Listed at 6-1 and 196 pounds, he has 150 games of NHL experience with the Rangers and Ottawa Senators.

“You can’t have enough good defenders,” Canes coach Rod Brind’Amour said Tuesday when asked about the signing. “Good experience there. Hard worker. I like what he brings in that department. And he’s tough to play against. He’s that kind of player.”

Claesson came to Canes camp on a professional tryout contract (PTO). With defenseman Trevor van Riemsdyk still recovering from shoulder surgery, the Canes looked to add to their depth and give coach Rod Brind’Amour another option on the blue line.

“You’re talking to your agent the whole summer and he’s telling you to be patient but then you just want something to be done,” Claesson said. “It’s tough. Family friends and members are asking, too, ‘Where you going next year?’ and you keep telling them the same thing, that you don’t know. But I’m really happy to be here.”

Claesson also has played 285 career AHL games. Before coming to North America, he played in the Swedish Hockey League games with Djurgardens IF.

Claesson won a gold medal with Sweden in the 2012 IIHF World Junior Championship. He was a fifth-round draft pick by Ottawa in 2011.

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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.
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