Tom Kostopoulos, left, ranked second on the Montreal Canadiens in hits and penalty minutes last season. ((Ian Barrett/Canadian Press))

Free agent forward Tom Kostopoulos inked a three-year deal worth more than $2.7 million US with the Carolina Hurricanes, the club announced Tuesday.

Kostopoulos is set to make $700,000 next season, $950,000 the following season, and $1.1 million in the final year of the deal.

Last season with the Montreal Canadiens, the 30-year-old contributed eight goals and 14 assists in 78 games. He ranked second on the team in penalty minutes (106) and hits (167) during the regular season, his seventh in the NHL.

"Tom is a character player who adds grit to our lineup," said Hurricanes president and general manager Jim Rutherford. "He is a strong penalty killer and plays a high-energy game that will fit our team's style of play."

The six-foot, 200-pound Mississauga, Ont., native brings size, an area of need for the Eastern Conference finalists.

Kostopoulos was drafted by Pittsburgh in the seventh round (204th overall) in 1999.

The right-winger has 40 goals, 65 assists and 468 penalty minutes in 376 NHL games.

With files from The Associated Press