A couple days I wrote THIS POST that profiled the growing 23 and under part of the Carolina Hurricanes roster.

The short version is that the Hurricanes currently have 9 players who are 23 years old or younger playing at the NHL level.

When I take a simple count of skaters who are 23 or younger and on current Eastern Conference rosters, I get the following:

Carolina (9): Justin Faulk, Brett Pesce, Noah Hanifin, Jaccob Slavin, Jeff Skinner, Victor Rask, Elias Lindholm, Phil Di Giuseppe, Joakim Nordstrom.

Columbus (7): Ryan Johansen, Brandon Saad, Boone Jenner, William Karlsson, Alexander Wennberg, Markus Hannikainen, Ryan Murray.

New Jersey (4): Stefan Matteau, Adam Larsson, Jon Merrill, Damon Severson.

New York Islanders (1): Ryan Strome.

New York Rangers (5): Kevin Hayes, J.T. Miller, Emerson Etem, Dylan McIlrath, Brady Skjei.

Philadelphia (3): Sean Couturier, Scott Laughton, Shayne Gostisbehere.

Pittsburgh (4): Olli Maata, Daniel Sprong, Daniel Clendening, Conor Sheary.

Washington (4): Evgeny Kuznetsov, Stanislav Galiev, Chandler Stephenson, Tom Wilson.


First, it is important to recognize that there are other factors to consider when trying to compare the teams. Teams that are deep at the NHL level and playoff teams like the Capitals and Rangers are more likely to let good young players develop at lower levels. No way would all 3 of Pesce, Hanifin and Slavin make it onto a Rangers blue line this season. And 23 years old is a favorable cut line for the Hurricanes (only Nestrasil is 24) whereas a few other teams have more players in the 24-25 year old range.

All of this said, the 23 and under portion of the Hurricanes roster looks incredibly strong within the Metropolitan Division. 9 roster players in this age group is tops of the group with only Columbus being close with 7 such players. More significant is the quality of these players. Whereas many of the players are role players right now, the Hurricanes group features Justin Faulk and Jeff Skinner who are established NHLers and also Victor Rask and Elias Lindholm who are playing major roles at forward. And having 4 of 6 defensemen so young is very uncommon.

To lead the way back to the playoffs this group must continue to improve and must also be joined by other players, so there are no guarantees. But as a Hurricanes fan, one has to be happy about the starting point and potential for the growing core of young players.


Go Canes!

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