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Hurricanes sign prospect Aleksi Saarela, acquired in blockbuster Eric Staal trade

Finland v USA Blue - 2014 USA Hockey Junior Evaluation Camp

LAKE PLACID, NY - AUGUST 03: Aleksi Saarela #16 of Team Finland skates against USA Blue during the 2014 USA Hockey Junior Evaluation Camp at the Lake Placid Olympic Center on August 3, 2014 in Lake Placid, New York. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

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The Carolina Hurricanes and prospect forward Aleksi Saarela have agreed to terms on a three-year entry-level contract, the team announced Monday.

It’s a significant move for the Hurricanes, who acquired the 19-year-old Saarela -- plus a pair of second round picks, one in 2016 and the other in 2017 -- in the blockbuster trade that sent Eric Staal to the New York Rangers prior to the deadline.

Here is the breakdown of the contract -- which came with a signing bonus of $277,500 -- at the NHL level:

-- 2016-17: $625,000

-- 2017-18: $675,000

-- 2018-19: $750,000

“Aleksi is a talented, offensive-minded player who we were excited to acquire at the trade deadline,” said Hurricanes GM Ron Francis in a statement.

“He took a big step forward last season and led his team in goal scoring as one of the league’s younger players, and we look forward to seeing his game continue to grow.”

Saarela played in 51 games for Assat Pori in the SM-liiga this past season, scoring a team-high 20 goals and finishing third on the team with 33 points.

Earlier in the day, the Hurricanes signed top prospect Sebastian Aho to an entry-level deal.