2019 NHL Prospects Showcase Game #1 vs. Was: Canes get shellacked 10-3

2019 NHL Prospects Showcase Game #1 vs. Was: Canes get shellacked 10-3

In case you missed it, my preview and watch points for the three-game prospects tourney round robin are HERE. The Hurricanes played game #1 against the Washington Capitals on Saturday afternoon and were walloped by a score of 10-3. The Capitals won the first period 3-0 and were up 5-0 early in the second period before the Hurricanes woke up and at least pushed back some. An important starting point for any kind of evaluation of the team or individual players is to make sure context is noted. I do think it is useful to evaluate players in any game situations like this, but at the same time a single exhibition game with odd circumstances in early September does not trump full seasons and the development path that preceded it. Also to be considered is the fact that this tourney has an odd scrimmage/’thrust into action’ element to it with players coming straight out of the off-season break and playing a game and doing so without any real preparation, practice or work on systems. In a nutshell, it is a bit of a random scrimmage. In addition, these games are not particularly meaningful for evaluating one team’s prospects compared to another’s because so many players are missing with all NCAA and many European players not involved. Shorter version is that while these games do represent an opportunity to evaluate players in game-like action, be careful not to put too much weight in a single exhibition game. As noted above, the Hurricanes exited the first period down 3-0. In simplest terms, the Hurricanes were abysmal in terms of transition defense...
Carolina Hurricanes 2019 NHL Prospects Showcase tourney preview

Carolina Hurricanes 2019 NHL Prospects Showcase tourney preview

If you checked in today looking for analysis of the Jake Gardiner signing on Friday, you can find that HERE.     On Saturday, the Carolina Hurricanes prospects take to the ice for a three-day round robin type tourney in Nashville. The move to this tournament marks the end of a long run playing in the Traverwe City tourney. I wrote about the roster when it was announced awhile back, so much of what follows builds on that article which you can find HERE. All games will stream on the team’s website. The Hurricanes play at 2pm on Saturday, 5pm on Sunday and 2pm on Tuesday. Below is a quick set of watch points for the tourney.   Veteran defensemen — Jake Bean, Jesper Sellgren, Chase Priskie (and forward Janne Kuokkanen) These tournaments are primarily for younger prospects and light on players with significant AHL experience. As such, Jake Bean who will be making his fourth appearance at a Canes prospect tourney is a wily veteran. Jesper Sellgren (21) and Chase Priskie (23) will be making their first appearances, but would still be veterans for this type of event. As such, I would expect these players to stand out and impress defensively if they are on a path to doing the same at the NHL level anytime soon. Specifically for Bean, he should be looking like he has completely mastered this level at this point. Though obviously on the forward side of the ledger, the same can be said for Janne Kuokkanen who is an odd inclusion for this roster as a player with two years of AHL experience...
Carolina Hurricanes sign free agent defenseman Chase Priskie

Carolina Hurricanes sign free agent defenseman Chase Priskie

In exactly one week away from Canes hockey in the middle of the slow time of the off-season, the Hurricanes of course reeled off a run off transactions, I will comment at least briefly on the re-signing of General Manager Don Waddell and the hiring of Goalie Coach Jason Muzzatti in the next few days. Today’s Daily Cup of Joe will address the most recent news of the Carolina Hurricanes signing NCAA free agent defenseman Chase Priskie.   Quick background on the situation Chase Priskie was drafted by the Washington Capitals in the 6th round of the 2016 NHL draft. Since then he has completed his NCAA career at Quinnipiac University. When a team drafts a player who heads to the NCAA, the team then has that players rights until his class’s graduating year — so basically four years. After those four years, usually when the player graduates, he becomes a free agent if not signed by August 15. So for a player who is not signed and who then decides to play out his senior year, the chance to become a free agent is a no-brainer unless he really wants to join the team that drafted him. That is what happened to defenseman Chase Priskie who finished up his senior season in 2018-19 and exercised his right to become a free agent. The free agency is unique. The contract to be signed is pretty much defined by the Collective Bargaining Agreement in terms of salary, signing bonus, playing bonuses and term. So there really is not much for the player to gain financially at least in terms of...
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...