Checking In with Brandon Stanley — 10/18 – 11/10 plus player spotlight on Alex Nedeljkovic

Checking In with Brandon Stanley — 10/18 – 11/10 plus player spotlight on Alex Nedeljkovic

Up and down we go, friends. The Charlotte Checker roller coaster is riding right along.  The Checkers, through the first month+ of the year, have looked about like what they are: a young team with a lot of new faces trying to find their identity. I headlined when the season started that they lost a 30-goal scorer, one of their best two-way centers, all three of their captains, and a few other important, ultra-talented others from their championship run that have graduated to the Canes. One night they’ll have a great showing and fill the net up, showcasing a steady defense and solid goaltending, the next they’ll look lost in their own end, hanging their goalies out to dry with odd-man rush after odd-man rush (hmmm… That sounds kind of familiar, actually). So, with three weeks’ worth of games to cover (eight games) and a player spotlight featuring a player that I think a lot of people are asking questions about at the moment, we’ll jump right in.   Charlotte Checkers 2, Utica Comets 8 So, yeah, this happened a couple weeks ago. We won’t dwell here long. The Checkers got punched in the mouth early and never recovered. Alex Nedeljkovic was pulled with about five minutes to go in the first period, with a sweet save percentage of .400 (three goals allowed on five shots), and Forsberg didn’t fare much better allowing the five more on 24 shots. Utica is a good team with some really nice young prospects, and they showcased their skill on this night. This was actually part of a month of October that saw...
Checking In with Brandon Stanley: Getting to know the new guys for the Charlotte Checkers

Checking In with Brandon Stanley: Getting to know the new guys for the Charlotte Checkers

Canes and Coffee is thrilled to announce that Brandon Stanley will again be offering regular updates on the Charlotte Checkers and with it the good group of Canes prospects playing at that level. You will find Brandon’s longer thoughts here, but please also consider following him on Twitter at @bwstanley26. Welcome back, Caniacs!   Charlotte Checkers departures After their thrilling run to the Calder Cup championship last spring, the Checkers saw a significant amount of changes heading into the 2019-20 season. Let’s just take a peep at this list of key players from last year’s roster no longer in Charlotte.  Andrew Poturalski – alternate captain, playoff MVP with 12 goals and 23 points in 18 games, leading scorer with a 70-point regular season, signed with Anaheim. Aleksi Saarela – team-leading 30 goal-scorer (and yes, I’m still salty about it. I hope the kid can figure out how to get his head right soon, if the reports are true, because the talent level is immense), traded to Chicago. Martin Necas – 52 point rookie season, looking great in the Canes lineup.  Trevor Carrick – 47 points from the blue line while serving as alternate captain. Traded to San Jose, where he’s finally getting a shot at some NHL ice time.  Nick Schilkey – really solid AHL player, responsible two-way game while chipping in 15 goals and 37 points and playing all over the lineup, in all situations. Now with Bridgeport, the Islanders AHL affiliate.   Patrick Brown – 19 goals and 35 points while being one of the team’s top penalty killers, and serving as captain. Signed by Vegas.  Nicolas Roy,...
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...
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...