Mailbag: Finnish futures, draft spotlights, and more

Mailbag: Finnish futures, draft spotlights, and more

@CanesProspects Chances Aho makes the Canes next season instead of Charlotte and if so, where does he slot in? — Christopher Lentz (@ctlentz) March 14, 2016 I’ll put the odds that Aho makes the opening day Hurricanes roster at 80/20. That number will increase after July 4 when I expect a few more rosters spots are filled through trades at the Draft and a minor UFA signing or two. There are only six forwards on the NHL roster signed to contracts for next season. Victor Rask and Joakim Nordstrom will be resigned, leaving one of at least four spots open for Aho. I don’t know any details of his current SM-liiga contract, but I would imagine there would be an NHL out clause, which would work in his favor. He may be in a similiar situation as Lucas Wallmark where he returns to his club team in Europe if he does not make the big club. He has one year remaining on his current contract, and has yet to sign an NHL contract. I expect Aho will start his NHL career as a third line left wing, the exact spot he began this current season with Kärpät. I expect he will be moved around a lot during summer camp and hopefully the Traverse City prospect tournament (Aho did not play last year). I can see him fitting in quite well on Elias Lindholm’s wing, taking the occasional draw on the left side circles.   @CanesProspects @CanesandCoffee With Saarela’s Liiga contract expiring, is there a chance he could join the checkers soon? — David McGowan (@DStaffordM) March 14, 2016 Short Answer:...
Prospect reports for March 1-7, 2016

Prospect reports for March 1-7, 2016

2015 Draft Picks: Sebastian Aho, 2nd Round (#35 overall) Last week: 3GP – 2G-5A-7PT, 0 PIM, 15 SOG, 13.3% shooting Kärpät went 2-1; Aho recorded a point in all three games. Will wear the Golden Helmet for Kärpät as the team’s leading scorer for the second week. Currently scoring on a point-per-game pace, Aho is on target to become the first SM-liiga U19 player to average 1 PPG in the regular season since 1984. Kärpät’s regular season finale is Thursday, March 10. This Season: 44GP – 19G-25A-44PTS, 2 PIM, 173 SOG, 10.9% shooting (Liiga) 11GP – 3G-6A-9PTS, 6 PIM, 21 SOG, 14.2% shooting (CHL), 7GP – 4AG-8A-12PTS, 4 PIM, 16 SOG, 31.2% shooting (WJHC), 2GP – 1G-1A-2PTS, 2 PIM, (Euro Hockey Tour) Next Game: Tuesday, March 8, 2016 at JYP Jyväskylä Aleksi Saarela, 3rd Round (#89 overall) Last Week: 3GP – 2G-0A-2PTS, 0 PIM, 16 SOG, 12.5% shooting ässät Pori went 2-0-1, 1-1 when Saarela records a point. This Season: 49GP – 20G-13A-33PTS, 14PIM, 259 SOG, 7.7% shooting (Liiga); 7GP – 4G-3A-7PTS, 4 PIM (Finland – WJHC) Next Game: Tuesday, March 8, 2016 vs. Helsinki I.F.K. Callum Booth, 4th Round (#93 overall) Booth will be out of the line for at least 2 more weeks with an right-knee injury; He suffered the injury during the first period of a match on 2/28. This Season: 39GP (39 Starts) – 16W-17L-3OTL, .902%, 3.15 GAA, 3 SO Nicolas Roy, 4th Round (#96 overall) Last Week: 4GP – 2G-4A-6PTS, 4 PIM, 11 SOG, 18.2% shooting, 61.2% Faceoffs Chicoutimi Seguenees went 1-3, 1-1 when Roy records a point. Roy currently ranks 4th in the QMJHL...
Spotlight on the newest Prospect: Aleksi Saarela

Spotlight on the newest Prospect: Aleksi Saarela

Name: Aleksi Saarela Position: C/LW Age: 19 Height: 5’10” Weight: 194lbs Shoots: Left Current Team: Ässät Pori (SM-Liiga) Contract Status: No NHL Contract / Current Finish League contract expires at the end of the current season Here are notes on Aleksi Saarela from various scouting reports leading upto the 2015 NHL Draft: “Very slick Centreman… Offensively gifted… Very strong despite his size… Relatively responsible… Got better as year progressed” North American Central Scouting A dangerous offensive forward that creates energy through scoring chances. Possesses good hockey sense as well as good hands and stickhandling ability. A smooth and speedy skater who has a lot of jump in his step. Not very large in stature; however, his diminutive size doesn’t deter his scoring prowess, and that is what he will have to rely upon to be successful. Curtis Joe, Elite Prospects A highly skilled but inconsistent and injury-prone offensive forward. He is an explosive skater. Impressive top speed to create separation and does not slowdown in possession. Good movement in tight spaces too–really elusive. He gets an accurate and fast slapshot away quickly. Has impressive senses and sees the ice very well. A deadly transition player, Saarela can slickly pickpocket the puck in the neutral zone or offensive zone and then make deadly accurate quick-strike passes to his open teammates for an instant offensive chance. Displays good stickhandling with lots of agility to beat defenders one-on-one. Strong on face-offs when called upon as well. He plays OK defensively, as in his positioning is correct but needs to play that side of the puck with more jam and intensity. Good accurate...
Prospect report for February 16 – 22, 2016

Prospect report for February 16 – 22, 2016

2015 Draft Picks: Sebastian Aho, 2nd Round (#35 overall) Last week: 3GP – 3G-2A-5PTS, 0 PIM, 18 SOG, 16.6% shooting Kärpät went 3-0, with Aho recording a point in every game. This Season: 39GP – 16G-19A-35PTS, 2 PIM, 143 SOG, 11.2% shooting (Liiga) 11GP – 3G-6A-9PTS, 6 PIM, 21 SOG, 14.2% shooting (CHL), 7GP – 4AG-8A-12PTS, 4 PIM, 16 SOG, 31.2% shooting (WJHC), 2GP – 1G-1A-2PTS, 2 PIM, (Euro Hockey Tour) Next Game: Friday, February 26, 2016 vs. TPS Turku Callum Booth, 4th Round (#93 overall) Last Week: 1GP (1 Start) – 0W-1L, .906%, 5.00GAA Booth stopped 48 of 53 in his lone start of the week. This Season: 37GP (37 Starts) – 15W-17L-3OTL, .899%, 3.25 GAA, 2 SO Next Game: Thursday, February 25, 2016 vs. Blainville-Boisbriand, Armada Nicolas Roy, 4th Round (#96 overall) Last Week: 2GP – 2G-1A-3PTS, 0 PIM, 6 SOG, 33.3% shooting, 61.1% Faceoffs Chicoutimi Seguenees went 2-0; Roy had no poinsts against Rimouski on 2/18 but recoreded the game winner in the shootout. Roy has been held scoreless in only eight games this season. This Season: 51GP – 37G-37A-74PTS, 59 PIM, 208 shots, 17.8% shooting, 60.8% Faceoffs Next Game: Tuesday, February 23, 2016 at Rimouski, Océanic Spencer Smallman, 5th Round (#138 overall) Last Week: 3GP – 1G-2A-3PTS, 4 PIM, 3 SOG, 33.3% shooting Saint John Sea Dogs went 1-2 with Smallman recording points in all three games. This Season: 47GP – 17G-20A-37PTS, 49 PIM, 102 SOG, 16.7% shooting Next Game: Thursday, February 25, 2016 vs. Halifax, Mooseheads Luke Stevens, 5th Round (#126 overall) Last Week: 2GP – 2G-2A-4PTS This Season: 25GP – 19G-30A-49PTS Stevens and...
Updated Look at Contract Situations in ‘The Pipeline’

Updated Look at Contract Situations in ‘The Pipeline’

Carolina Hurricanes General Manager Ron Francis’ attention will shift towards free agency and his unsigned draft picks in two weeks. As I mentioned last week, I expect a number of prospects to be signed to Entry-Level Contacts in the near future. Here is an updated look at the contract status in the Pipeline: Players Signed Haydn Fleury Alex Nedeljkovic Roland McKeown Lucas Wallmark Players that must be signed by an early June deadline 2014 Drafted player that can re-enter the 2016 Draft if they fail to sign Warren Foegele – 1 Season of CHL eligibility remaining Josh Wesley – 1 Season of CHL eligibility remaining Clark Bishop – No CHL eligibilty remaining Kyle Jenkins – No CHL eligibilty remaining 2015 Draftees eligible to play in the AHL next year European Players or CHL Players who will turn 20 before December 31, 2016. Sebastian Aho Spencer Smallman Steven Lorentz Current and Future NCAA Players Teams have the rights of an NCAA player until 30 days after the player leaves the college Luke Stevens – Incoming Freshman / 4 years of eligiblity remaining David Cotton – Incoming Freshman / 4 years of eligiblity remaining Collin Olson – Junior / 1 year of eligiblity remaining Brendan Collier – Junior / 1 year of eligiblity remaining 2015 Unsigned Drafteees These players can sign contracts, but must return to the CHL if they don’t make the Hurricanes roster Callum Booth Nicolas Roy European Players 23 or older Gregory Hofmann turned 23 on 11/13/2015, meaning the Hurricanes will loose exclusive negotiating rights to sign this player at some point this spring. Given he has three...