Brandon Stanley: Checking in — Weekend #2

Brandon Stanley: Checking in — Weekend #2

Hot on the heels of a check in after the first weekend if Charlotte Checkers hockey, Brandon Stanley provides another update on the Charlotte Checkers and the Canes prospects in Charlotte.   Charlotte Checkers weekend recap The Checkers continued their red-hot start to the season this past weekend, once again winning both legs of their second consecutive back-to-back set. The 4-0-0 start has them atop the AHL’s Atlantic Division early and off to the best start in franchise history. The first game was in Utica where the Checkers would overcome an early 2-0 deficit to down the Comets by a score of 4-3. Saku Maenalanen scored his first AHL goal with a shorthanded marker to cut the lead in half, then noted offensive wiz (said with much sarcasm) Dennis Robertson would tie the score with his first of two markers on the night. Morgan Geekie would score another to put the Checkers up one, then after conceding that lead Robertson would punch in his second of the game to close out the scoring. Alex Nedeljkovic picked up another win, stopping 22 of 25 shots. The next night in Syracuse, the Checkers came out swinging and never looked back. Julien Gauthier, off to a solid start this season, broke the scoreless tie early in the opening frame to hand the Checkers a lead they would never relinquish. A mixture of great special teams play and an outstanding Nedeljkovic outing (once again starting both games of the weekend) would be more than enough. Janne Kuokkanen would score on the powerplay to double the lead late in the first, then Clark Bishop...
Brandon Stanley: Checking in

Brandon Stanley: Checking in

While Canes fans have been most busy enjoying the great start in Raleigh, the season is off to a great start for the Charlotte Checkers too. This article by Brandon Stanley covers the first weekend (Matt’s fault for the delay getting it posted) of Checkers hockey.   As we saw in training camp and the preseason, this Hurricanes roster is a lot deeper and more talented than we have seen in quite some time. With the strengthened farm system and highly regarded prospects graduating to the professional ranks, this year’s Charlotte Checkers were always going to be a talented, dangerous team. There were multiple players with strong performances that in recent years likely would have made the team, at least on a trial basis, that are starting the year in Charlotte. And boy, it’s been a nice start. I wanted to give a little background on some of the notable players and preview a few who will likely see the big club when injuries and ineffectiveness inevitably strike. So, this is just a quick recap of the first two games of the year, and some insights into some guys you’ve probably heard about plenty of times over the years (and some you may not be as familiar with) as a little refresher course.   Opening Weekend The Checkers open the season with three consecutive Friday-Saturday back-to-backs, and began the year in New York to face the affiliate of the Buffalo Sabres, the Rochester Americans. The Checkers would sweep their opening series, winning by scores of 6-2 and 4-2. It was an impressive start to the year on the road...
Charlotte Checker check ins 2018: Warren Foegele

Charlotte Checker check ins 2018: Warren Foegele

The original plan was to launch into a series of check ins on Carolina Hurricanes players playing with the Checkers in 2017-18 either late this week or possibly early next week. But with the call up of Warren Foegele on Sunday and the potential for his NHL debut on Monday, the first in the series just became incredibly timely. Continuing with the theme from the recently completed series of 16 articles that checked in on Hurricanes prospects below the AHL level, the AHL series will similarly gather input from hockey people who watch/track the players on a regular basis.   About the interviewee: Mike Solarte from Spectrum News Mike Solarte (Twitter=@MikeSolarte) is the NC Sports Director for Spectrum News.  Mike has been in Charlotte for 15 years, and before that was in Raleigh for 7.  You can see him Monday-Friday on Chevrolet Sports Night at 10pm.   Charlotte Checkers check in on Warren Foegele Canes and Coffee: What was your first impression of Warren Foegele in terms of skill set and strengths upon first seeing him with the Checkers early in the 2017-18 season?   Mike Solarte: Initially, my impression of Foegele was that of a kid trying to find his way, but after watching him, he showed that he was more than a kid looking around.  Foegele has good puck poise for a rookie, and remarkably, hasn’t scored a power play goal this season. He has 26 (to date), and 4 of those are short-handers. Coach Vellucci told me that because Foegele gets so much ice time as it is that he hasn’t used him on the power play...
Warren Foegele is the latest of the incoming AHL brigade

Warren Foegele is the latest of the incoming AHL brigade

Hot on the heels of a strong 2017-18 debut for Valentin Zykov, the Hurricanes announced on Sunday that Warren Foegele had been called up from Charlotte. The move nearly completes my list from March 19 with five initiatives for the remainder of the 2017-18 season. More significantly, the move suggests that someone at 1400 Edwards Mill Road might actually read Canes and Coffee which suggests that maybe Jofa goalie helmets at practice are not as much of  a pipe dream as originally thought.   A brief diversion to applaud Valentin Zykov Back to Zykov for a second…The sample size of four games is too small to draw any definitive conclusions, but it is fair to say that Valentin Zykov has been nothing short of phenomenal in three games since being recalled. After a quiet warm up game, he has two goals and two assists in a pair of games playing on the Hurricanes top scoring line with Sebastian Aho and Teuvo Teravainen. He brings a power forward and finishing element to a line with two skilled playmakers and thus far the result has been very productive. He likely will not continue at a 100+ point pace, but at the same time, it is not inconceivable that Zykov proves capable of leveraging his tryout to become a regular at the NHL level.   Warren Foegele – pre-AHL Up next is Warren Foegele. His ‘Pipeline’ articles can be found HERE. Perfectly timed, Foegele is the first player featured in a series of ‘Charlotte Checkers check ins’ with from the rink updates on AHL-level prospects’ 2017-18 seasons in with the Checkers. Foegele has...
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...