Carolina Hurricanes Prospect Camp scrimmage notes

Carolina Hurricanes Prospect Camp scrimmage notes

First let me say that it is impossible to cover everything here. I will probably follow up with another article or two on the Carolina Hurricanes prospect camp once the initial frenzy from free agency passes. But here is at least a first set of notes from the scrimmage combined with context from the rest of the week.   Ryan Suzuki In more crowded 5-on-5 hockey, he will need to make some simpler plays and not be able to just dangle with the puck indefinitely, but he used the 3-on-3 space to showcase his skill set well. Let me start with an interesting assertion. Specifically in terms of playmaking skills with the puck on his stick and the need to generate scoring options out of mostly nothing, his skill set is more advanced than both Andrei Svechnikov (who is admittedly more of a scorer) and Martin Necas. All good NHL offensive players can see and exploit open passing lanes. Many players (Necas fits well in this category) have the ability to pressure defenses with their mobility/ability to skate to make space for themselves or their line mates. But one skill that elite playmakers usually have is some crazy ability to generate passing lanes or scoring chances out of nothing. I think Ryan Suzuki has that cerebral ability to make subtle plays to make a defense shift or move his stick or to pull players out of passing lanes. Quick example…He had a play where he carried into the offensive zone 2v3 with really not much doing offensively. He made a play to turn to the outside which pulled his...
Notes from Carolina Hurricanes prospect camp — Practices #2 and #3 (Thursday)

Notes from Carolina Hurricanes prospect camp — Practices #2 and #3 (Thursday)

In case you missed it, I wrote up Wednesday night’s first practice in some degree of detail. You can find that HERE.  I seem to be running about a day behind with a busy week and the Canes trade activity this week, but installment two of my notes covers both a morning and an evening session of practices for the Carolina Hurricanes 2019 prospect camp.   Credit to the camp invitees The fast-paced one-hour sessions most times have a dozen things happening all at the same time. The limited time and the small total of 5-6 hours of total ice time makes it challenging to watch each and every player in detail. My first focus is mostly trying to get a read and baseline on the newest draftees, and the Hurricanes added extra this year. And then my second focus is to gauge if/how much the returning players have improved/developed. Doing that seems like a lot such that though I try to do it, it is difficult to really focus on the camp invitees. My aim is to give them credit where it is due, but to be honest it is just hard to track that many players. So at a general level of giving credit where it is due, the invitees for this camp and also past camps are a solid group of players. The gap between the invitees and the players who were fortunate to be drafted in the mid-late rounds is small. Specifically when I watch this 2019 group, I would struggle and fail to sort the middle range of these players into those who were...
Notes from Carolina Hurricanes prospect camp — Practice #1 (Wed night)

Notes from Carolina Hurricanes prospect camp — Practice #1 (Wed night)

Better late than never, this post was delayed a bit when the Carolina Hurricanes sprung the late night trade for Erik Haula on us at roughly the same time our indoor cat went missing outdoors. If you missed it, you can find my thoughts on the Erik Haula/Nicolas Roy trade HERE.   Practice format The goalies practiced first for about 45 minutes followed by about an hour for the skaters with the goalies back only for the very end of it. The goalie practice was focused on skating/movement/technique. The majority of the skater practice was various skating drills with cones and a bunch of cameras on the ice presumably to evaluate and improve skating techniques. Only the tail end of the practice featured a small amount of drills with pucks, passing and shooting and more hockey-ish stuff. As such, the format for Wednesday was not great for gleaning much other than skating and mobility. Wednesday morning’s practice which I will write up later featured a bit more hockey and should therefore have a bit more insight.   Part of the plan… I noted on Twitter that the Hurricanes have four drafted goalies in camp and still decided to add three invitees. I think that is significant in terms of the team’s prospect strategy in net. To be clear, this is not something the team has discussed — it is my thoughts on why this makes sense and what is going on. Invitees are common for these camps. Most teams need a few more players for scrimmages and possibly to fill out fall rookie camp teams later when European and...
Assessing the Carolina Hurricanes goalie prospects

Assessing the Carolina Hurricanes goalie prospects

In case you missed it, yesterday’s Daily Cup of Joe offered my assessment and rankings of the Carolina Hurricanes blue line prospects. Today’s Daily Cup of Joe continues down that path and offers a quick assessment and ranking of the Carolina Hurricanes’ goalie prospects.   Graduated with honors from the junior level/still working to make the grade at the AHL level (3) Alex Nedeljkovic, Callum Booth and Jeremy Helvig From the draft classes back a few years, the Hurricanes have three goalies who wrapped up Canadian Hockey League careers on high notes and made the jump to the AHL level with high marks at the previous level. Alex Nedeljkovic was the first to make the jump for the 2016-17 season. After a stellar juniors career and similarly strong play in international play, some luster came off of Nedeljkovic’s star after a rough transition to the AHL level in 2016-17. But he rebounded with a better season behind a strong team in 2017-18 and regained some optimism in the process. Callum Booth followed a year behind Nedeljkovic in 2017-18. He played primarily in the ECHL, so he has yet to truly be tested at the AHL level. Finally, Jeremy Helvig will join the group in the professional ranks after finishing up a strong career in the OHL. All three of these goalies have NHL potential and did about all one could hope before jumping to the AHL. All three are in different stages of mastering the AHL level and making a case for being an NHL goalie. Though none are a sure thing, having three goalies with NHL potential in...
Assessing the Carolina Hurricanes defensemen prospects

Assessing the Carolina Hurricanes defensemen prospects

After some time to digest the latest chance to evaluate the younger part of the Carolina Hurricanes’ prospect pool at prospect camp in late June, today’s Daily Cup of Joe attempts to make sense of the blue line portion of the group. With Jaccob Slavin, Brett Pesce and Haydn Fleury already up at the NHL level and Noah Hanifin already departed from the group, I like to think of the prospect pool across two categories — nearness to being ready and potential ceiling. The first aims to measure ability to help soon, and the second measures the potential to find an impact player or two. I have started to group the Hurricanes’ blue line prospects into three fairly broad categories:   Near-term NHL depth (2) Roland McKeown and Trevor Carrick For players who have proven themselves at the AHL level and seem ready or near-ready to step into the NHL at least in a depth role and be serviceable or better, I count two players – Roland McKeown and Trevor Carrick. McKeown always seems to find a higher gear in NHL action be in preseason to prove a point or in the regular season when given a chance. He burst onto the professional scene by more or less winning the last defenseman roster spot at the NHL level before the 2016-17 season. Ron Francis thought better of it and added depth defensemen off the waiver wire, so McKeown could log a ton of ice time in Charlotte and continue his development. I do not see his ceiling as being as high as some of the other players, but I...
Summer School – Class of 2018: Lenni Killinen (Finland – Assat, Liiga)

Summer School – Class of 2018: Lenni Killinen (Finland – Assat, Liiga)

With a new round of prospects on the team, timing is perfect to thank Jamie Kellner for providing the vast majority of the photo content used at Canes and Coffee. You can find Jamie on Twitter at @jbkellner and can visit her photo site HERE.   This article starts into what will be an intermittent series that will ultimately provide ‘from the rink’ insight on all of the newest Carolina Hurricanes prospects. In addition to this article, please also check the companion ‘Reading List’ article for Lenni Killinen that includes links to external articles about Lenni Killinen.   Lenni Killinen Killinen was selected by the Carolina Hurricanes in the fourth round of the 2018 NHL Draft. Killinen continues the Hurricanes run of selecting a Finnish forward in the draft in each year dating back to an auspicious start with Sebastian Aho’s selection in the second round of the 2015 NHL Draft. As a good skater with a projectable NHL frame and enough skill, Killinen is maybe a bit raw at this early stage of his development, but he has a high ceiling for a mid-round draft pick.   Interviewees Marco Bombino (Twitter=@marco_bombino) is a Finnish prospect analyst for McKeen’s Hockey and FinnProspects. He also has his own website finnishjuniorhockey.com that provides information on Finnish prospects playing in juniors and at the pro level. He has previously worked for Future Considerations, Over The Boards and Dobber Prospects. Jokke Nevalainen (Twitter=@JokkeNevalainen) is a Junior Associate Editor at DobberProspects.com. There he focuses mostly on European prospects, especially the ones playing in Finland and Sweden.   Interviews on Lenni Killinen Canes and Coffee:...