Checking In with Brandon Stanley: Checkers’ player assessments — Roland McKeown, Alex Nedeljkovic, Martin Necas

Checking In with Brandon Stanley: Checkers’ player assessments — Roland McKeown, Alex Nedeljkovic, Martin Necas

Welcome back, Caniacs!    First off, I’d like to apologize for the delay in this series. I probably didn’t time it all that well to start with considering how it lined up with the summer events. I likely would have only been about three editions into the series by the time the draft and free agency came around, and that means a lot of my profiles would have been less meaningful with all the player movement we saw. In addition, I had a bit of a rough month or so with some big unforeseen changes in my life coming that I was dealing with. I didn’t even have my laptop for a couple weeks, so even if I had been mentally around at all I wouldn’t have been able to work on these anyway. So again, sorry for the prolonged absence, but we’ll pick it back up now and continue to look into how the seasons of the Canes prospects at the AHL level unfolded. This week we’ll look at Roland McKeown, Alex Nedeljkovic, and Martin Necas.    Roland McKeown – Defenseman (Acquired: Andrej Sekera deal with LA, February 2015; Drafted 2nd round, 50th overall by LA, 2014 Entry Draft) By the Numbers – 4 goals, 21 assists, 25 points in 70 games; 56 PIMs, +30 rating; 3 assists in 10 playoff games.  What Got Him Here? McKeown is very much cut from the Pesce mold, as a right-shot defenseman that takes care of his end of the ice first and foremost, but doesn’t add a ton of value in the offensive end. He is an excellent penalty killer...
Checking In with Brandon Stanley: Checkers’ player assessments — Julien Gauthier, Morgan Geekie, Janne Kuokkanen

Checking In with Brandon Stanley: Checkers’ player assessments — Julien Gauthier, Morgan Geekie, Janne Kuokkanen

Only a couple days removed from the Charlotte Checkers being crowned the Calder Cup Champions, timing is perfect for another look down to Charlotte to assess the promising group of young players who could factor into the Carolina Hurricanes lineup sooner rather than later. Part 1 last week looked at Jake Bean, Clark Bishop and Trevor Carrick.   Checking In with Brandon Stanley With the NHL postseason winding down, and the summertime markets looming where the Canes have the horses to be massive players, now seems like the perfect time to look back and get a bit of a refresher on what’s happening down on the farm. An imperative for Waddell’s to-do list will be figuring out which of these players can be used in deals for immediate help, and which ones have parts to play in the Carolina Hurricanes’ future. The Checkers are the champions of the AHL after finishing off a 4-1 dismantling of the Chicago Wolves in the Calder Cup Finals, but here I’ll be focusing on the regular season for the most part (largely because I’ve been so busy the last few weeks that I have barely gotten to watch any of this stellar playoff run). We’ll take a look at how each prospect* playing for the Checkers performed in 2018-19, what skills make them projectable to the NHL level, and what they need to work on in order to reach their ceilings. We’ll also give an NHL outlook of when they’ll be ready to contribute, and what role their NHL future likely holds. *Two criteria: they must still have rookie eligibility (<25 games played...
Checking In with Brandon Stanley: Checkers’ player assessments — Jake Bean, Clark Bishop, Trevor Carrick

Checking In with Brandon Stanley: Checkers’ player assessments — Jake Bean, Clark Bishop, Trevor Carrick

With the NHL postseason winding down, and the summertime markets looming with the Canes having the horses to be massive players, now seems like the perfect time to look back and get a bit of a refresher on what’s happening down on the farm. An imperative part of Waddell’s to-do list will be figuring out which of these players can be used in deals for immediate help, and which ones have parts to play in the Carolina Hurricanes’ future. The champions of the AHL’s Eastern Conference are split the first two games against the Chicago Wolves in the Calder Cup Finals in Charlotte this weekend, but here I’ll be focusing on the regular season (largely because I’ve been so busy the last few weeks that I have barely gotten to watch any of this stellar playoff run). We’ll take a look at how each prospect* playing for the Checkers performed in 2018-19, what skills make them projectable to the NHL level, and what each needs to work on in order to reach his ceiling. We’ll also give an NHL outlook of when they’ll be ready to contribute, and what role their NHL future likely holds. *Two criteria: Players must still have rookie eligibility (<25 games played in the NHL), and be a true prospect with a legitimate notion of contributing in Raleigh. Bobby Sanguinetti and Dennis Robertson play important roles as mentors and organizational depth, but neither truly qualifies as a prospect at this stage of his career.   To begin, we will look at Jake Bean, Clark Bishop, and Trevor Carrick.   Jake Bean – Defenseman (Acquired: 2016...
Local Hockey Check In: NC State Takes Home ACCHL Title

Local Hockey Check In: NC State Takes Home ACCHL Title

Last weekend in Winston-Salem, the top eight teams in the Atlantic Coast Collegiate Hockey League did battle looking to hoist the Admiral Cup as conference champions. The NC State Icepack, the top seed with a 22-0-0 record (9-0 in conference play), were looking to cap off the best season in program history with the title. With a lethal forward group, deep defense, stellar special teams play, and rock-solid goaltending, the Pack looked like the odds-on favorite coming in. But as with any one-and-done tournament in the game of hockey (or any sport, really), strange things can happen. To open the tourney, the Icepack easily dispatched eighth-seeded St. Joseph’s on Friday afternoon by a score of 11-1. Up next, the Pack drew fourth-seeded Wake Forest, one of the hottest teams in the conference who were playing a de facto home game. Just one week prior the Deacs nearly ended State’s undefeated season, carrying the lead into the third period before two goals in the last 6 minutes gave NCSU a 3-2 victory. This game was similarly tightly-contested, but, as they’ve done countless times this year, the Pack would pull away in the third. Almost immediately after the Demon Deacons had cut the score to 3-2 early in the frame, assistant captain Ryan Kinney wired a perfect shot just under the crossbar to re-instate the two-goal lead. Then, just two minutes later, captain and league MVP Sam Banasiewicz would add an insurance marker, banging in a rebound to make it 5-2. From there, sturdy defense and rock-solid goaltending from Josh Cannon took the Pack to a Sunday afternoon date with the...
Checking In by Brandon Stanley: Checkers Struggles Continue Post-All-Star Break — 1/28 – 2/10

Checking In by Brandon Stanley: Checkers Struggles Continue Post-All-Star Break — 1/28 – 2/10

After getting back in the win column following its first three-game losing streak of the 2018-19 season heading into the short All-star break, the Checkers had a rough six game stretch over the last two weeks. Luckily for me, that makes for a bit less content that needs to be covered, and I can make up for getting behind on this series 😀 – Apologies for this, by the way, but my own hockey season is wrapping up in the next couple weeks (we just finished off a 21-0-0 regular season, 22-0 if you count Clemson’s forfeit last weekend, and we have the #1 seed in the ACCHL conference tournament this weekend in Winston-Salem. If anyone is looking for a little more local hockey to check out, it should be a lot of fun. First game is 3:00 on Friday. Go Wolfpack!) and at that point I’ll have a lot less on my plate and can get back into a deep dive into what’s happening in the system. But I’ll get you all caught up here on the last two weeks, just hitting the major points for longevity’s sake. Instead of giving takeaways from each game individually, we’ll start with a few overall takeaways and then get into recaps of the games.   Alex Nedeljkovic Even through the team’s recent struggles, the young goalie continues to play at as high of a level as he has since turning pro. He was named the AHL’s goalie of the month for January, going 6-0-0 with a 1.78 goals-against average and save percentage of .937. Add in a rock-solid NHL debut in...