Ken Holland knew he was taking a chance putting Andrej Nestrasil on waivers yesterday, calling it a “risk.”
Today, the Detroit GM was proven right.
Carolina has claimed the 23-year-old forward, the club announced. Nestrasil, Detroit’s third-round pick (75th overall) at the 2009 NHL Entry Draft, made his NHL debut this year and has appeared in 13 games, scoring two points while averaging over 11 minutes per night.
“Andrej is a young player with good size who we feel can contribute to our group of forwards,” Carolina GM Ron Francis said in a statement. “He has improved in each of his pro seasons and took a big step last year with Grand Rapids.”
Nestrasil, a former Quebec junior league standout, had a good year with Grand Rapids in ’13-14 — scoring 16 goals and 36 points in 70 games — and should have a better chance at minutes with a Carolina team that’s lean on depth up front and is still without Jordan Staal (on IR with a broken leg.)
Detroit has to be unhappy with this loss. While Nestrasil wasn’t exactly lighting it up production-wise with the Wings, he did impress head coach Mike Babcock.
“He’s a guy whose strong on the puck, good with the puck,” Babcock said earlier this season, per the Detroit Free Press. “He’s been good defensively, he’s been smart.”