Of course, with some exits, that brings in some players, especially via the trade route, there is some encouraging signs from the youth of this organization and that all gets stacked up on a fairly decent existing blueline.
The downside for the Hurricanes is the division that they play in. Having being situated in the Metropolitan Division, this team really does get overshadowed easily and maybe for good reason. The superstars that rein atop of the scoring tables that they play against almost every night and goaltenders that are at the top of their class also tend creases in their division makes it hard for this team to gain much traction.
The Hurricanes are building an organization that starts from the blueline and it's already starting to look pretty good, but they will need both their forwards and goaltending to catch up and soon, if they are going to take advantage of this excellent blueline window.
|Calvin de Haan||D||20||N|
|Trevor Van Riemsdyk||D||20||N|
|Phillip Di Giuseppe||F||10||N|
Table last updated on August 9th
Most Intriguing or Breakout Player
I think it could be very easy to get excited about the 2nd overall pick in this year's draft, Andrei Svechnikov, and probably you should be. Myself, personally, like what Martin Necas brought to the table in last year's World Junior Championship, play-making ability and some good vision, which has me intrigued about how he'll fit into the Hurricanes system in the 2019 season.
I thought that this 19-year old would have made for a great reason to draft Filip Zadina in June, since their chemistry was so good, but the Hurricanes opted with a Russian instead. Necas should have a few good options to play with, if he can make the team and if he can, I think he can put up some points.
First Round Picks
The Hurricanes are not showing a lot of top end talent on my list, but they are the youngest of all the projected rosters that you'll see in these projection posts, with the average age well under 25 years old. They might still come around in the years to come, but they'll have to grow into it first.
Other Pool Worthy Forwards
There is a good collection of forwards in Carolina, including a couple of rookies, that could make a positive impact on your pool team. The Svechnikov/Necas freshman connection could be fun to watch, if they make it to the opening night roster, while Sebastian Aho and Teuvo Teravainen now have a year of experience together on the team, which should only help their connection grow. Jordan Staal, Justin Williams and Victor Rask round out the pool worthy forwards on my list.
Other Pool Worthy Defensemen
Over the past few seasons, the Carolina blueline has been surprisingly good for the hockey pool and they have only improved it with the acquisition of Dougie Hamilton from the Flames and he'll now lead a very qualified group, including Justin Faulk, Brett Pesce and Jaccob Slavin, for those worthy of mention on my projection list.
In net last season, Scott Darling was the new face, who was supposed to bring his potential to a number one role, but that didn't quite pan out as well, as many may have hoped. This year, Petr Mrazek will be the new guy and he will provide quite the battle for the number one job and I think these two could split the time, so they could be goalies worth taking a little later, more likely to be your second choice keeper.
Team to Pick From Late?
If you're looking for those sleepers late on in the draft, you might not find many in Carolina, unless one of the team's other rookies were in to make a big impact out of the gates. Julien Gauthier or Janne Kuokkanen up front would be in consideration at that point. Otherwise, I might look to one of the more prolifically scoring teams for a late round sleeper pick.
Unsigned Players and Salary Cap
Even with new ownership in place, the Hurricanes remain a budget team. My current 23-man projected roster is coming in only $4.8 million above the cap floor, leaving well over $15 million in cap space. The team has no restricted free agents left to deal with, so they could be in to take on more assets for bad contracts.
It doesn't sound like there is anything too pressing for the Hurricanes in the injury department. Not making the playoffs gives the guys some extra time to heal.