Checking In (By Jordan Futrell): And We’re Back!

Checking In (By Jordan Futrell): And We’re Back!

Welcome back Checking In fans! The Charlotte Checkers were back in action to start the season on Friday (Oct.6), against the Hartford Wolfpack. Starting off the season right the Checkers defeated the WolfPack 5-4, and would go onto win three of their first four games of the year. Saturday (Oct. 7) they traveled to Wilkes-Barre and defeated a scrappy Penguins squad 5-2. All hopes of an undefeated season were lost when the Bridgeport Sound Tigers handed the Checkers their first loss on Friday (Oct. 13) by a score of 5-3. But Charlotte would get the revenge the next night (Oct.14) and best the Sound Tigers 3-2.   Charlotte Checkers’ Three Stars #3: Picking up right where he left off last season, Andrew Miller played terrific to start the year. The veteran started on the first line, giving the team valuable minutes in tight game situations. He showed great patience on offense, rarely forcing the issue and turning over the puck. He also provided solid minutes on the power play, finding open teammates on multiple occasions for scoring opportunities near the net. His effort tallied him a goal and four assists for a productive first two weeks of the season. But Miller’s contribution to this team cannot be just measured by just stats. He is a calming presence on the ice for all his younger teammates by not getting flustered and staying poised in late game scenarios. That is a tremendous example to set for all the new prospects that Checkers have on the roster and it will be dividends as the season goes on. #2: Warren Foegele exploded onto...
2017-18 Charlotte Checkers Season Preview — By Jordan Futrell

2017-18 Charlotte Checkers Season Preview — By Jordan Futrell

Matt’s comments: I am absolutely thrilled to have Jordan Futrell returning to Canes and Coffee for his third season covering the Charlotte Checkers. His regular updates with a ‘from the rink’ viewpoint from tracking the Checkers as closely as I track the Hurricanes are incredibly valuable. Last season, Jordan was really high on Haydn Fleury BEFORE the masses made their way to considering him a likely NHLer in 2017-18. Here is hoping that Jordan can similarly find the next player ready to impact the Hurricanes roster during the 2017-18 season and give us an early heads up.   (Re) introduction for Jordan Futrell My name is Jordan Futrell, and I am currently a junior that is majoring in Communication and minoring in Journalism at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. This will be my third season on the Canes and Coffee writing staff, and I am looking forward to another exciting year covering the Checkers for fans of the website. After playing and enjoying youth hockey for many years, I realized around the 7th grade that I probably would not ever make it to any professional level of hockey. Even though I knew the NHL was not a likely career destination for me, I made the decision that I wanted to work with the game in sports media because what I loved most in life was sports, especially hockey. I knew even at that early age that I wanted to work in the sports industry for the rest of my life and that feeling has still not changed to this day. My love for the Canes dates back...
Checking In: Alex Nedeljkovic Charlotte Checkers 2016-17 season review

Checking In: Alex Nedeljkovic Charlotte Checkers 2016-17 season review

If you are catching up Alex Nedeljkovic is Charlotte Checkers’ 2016-17 player review #3 behind Haydn Fleury and Lucas Wallmark. Alex Nedeljkovic’s starting point coming out of the 2015-16 season Alex Nedeljkovic finished out his junior career with a season split between two different cities. He started out the year playing for the Flint Firebirds but was traded later in the season to the Niagara Icedogs for a possible shot at the OHL Championship. Nedeljkovic and the Icedogs would make it all the way to the OHL finals before being swept by the Mitch Marner-lead London Knights for the title. For the 2015-16 season as a whole, Nedeljkovic would finish 24-20-4, with a 2.91 GAA, and .907 save percentage. He also starred for Team USA in the 2016 World Junior Championships as he helped lead the team to a Bronze medal with a 1.66 GAA and .943 save percentage in seven games. Alex Nedeljkovic: 2016-17 with the Charlotte Checkers First half of 2016-17: Coming in with high expectations from his World Junior performance, Nedeljkovic did not have the start to the season that he or anyone else wanted. He was shelled in his first game as Checker, allowing four goals on 21 shots in just the first period alone. He would not see the ice after the first period, and the challenges did not end that night. Nedeljkovic would lose four out of his first five starts. He was had significant trouble corralling in long shots and allowed big rebound opportunities in front of the net because of it. He seemed to lack confidence in his ability and he...
Checking In: Lucas Wallmark Charlotte Checkers 2016-17 season review

Checking In: Lucas Wallmark Charlotte Checkers 2016-17 season review

If you missed it yesterday, a Charlotte Checkers season review for Haydn Fleury kicked off a series of articles evaluating the 2016-17 season for top Hurricanes prospects at the AHL level.   Lucas Wallmark’s starting point coming out of the 2015-16 season Lucas Wallmark spent the 2015-2016 season in the Swedish Hockey League (SHL) playing for Luleå Hockeyförening. This was Wallmark’s third and final season in the SHL, and he decided to make it his best season in the SHL as well. He scored 8 goals and dished out 24 assists in 48 games. His point total was a 14 point increase from the prior season, and Wallmark was becoming more comfortable with finding his own shot and not just creating chances for others. This was evident with the 7 goals that he scored in the postseason with Luleå compared to tallying just 2 assists in 11 games.   Lucas Wallmark: 2016-17 with the Charlotte Checkers First of the season: Like Haydn Fleury but at a more amplified level, Wallmark entered the season with a timid approach. Even more than Fleury, he was being hesitant when it came to the offensive side of the puck. He wasn’t taking many shots, rather deferring to his pass the puck to his teammates for shots. Even when he was able to breakdown the defense and create an offensive play on his own, he did not often enough finish the play and take the shot. Because of this, he looked like a skilled playmaker at the beginning of the season but with not much of a goal scoring touch to his game. This...
Checking In: Haydn Fleury Charlotte Checkers 2016-17 season review

Checking In: Haydn Fleury Charlotte Checkers 2016-17 season review

In a format somewhat similar to the 2016-17 NHL-level player report cards, Jordan Futrell will be writing a series of 2016-17 reviews for many of Hurricanes’ top prospects who spent the 2016-17 with the Charlotte Checkers in the AHL.   Haydn Fleury’s starting point coming out of the 2015-16 season Haydn Fleury played his final year in the Western Hockey League (WHL) for the Red Deer Rebels in 2015-2016. Fleury probably had the best regular season of his junior career, totalling 41 points in 56 games played and finishing as an overall +18. In the post-season, he helped lead Red Deer to the WHL conference finals, tallying 4 goals and 5 assists in 17 games. For the Memorial Cup, Fleury finished second among defensemen in total points with 4, outdone only by future 5th overall pick Olli Joulevi who had 7. Not only did Fleury’s total points per game improve in his last junior season, but his defensive game was also better. He became more of a physical defender on the ice, using his larger frame to his advantage against smaller opponents.   Haydn Fleury: 2016-17 with the Charlotte Checkers First half of the season: Fleury would not start the 2016-17 season out guns blazing as he might have hoped. For the majority of the first half of the year, he looked a little timid on the ice. As a rookie that can be natural, not wanting to make any major mistakes right at the beginning of his professional career is something that absolutely goes through a player’s mind. Fleury only registered 4 points through November, and he suffered...