The Hurricanes 2018-19 lineup with inevitably have a healthy sprinkling of rookies at the forward position. Rookie forwards are often able to contribute in today’s NHL but also often exhibit inconsistency. In addition, the Hurricanes have some older veterans who are reasonably set in terms of what to expect for production.
But the group of players in the middle could prove to be the most interesting. The Hurricanes have a number of players who are now a couple years deep in terms of NHL experience and have just settled into NHL roles. Could some of those players be ready to find a higher gear after settling in and in the process boost the entire team?
Today’s Daily Cup of Joe takes a look at four players who have accumulated a decent amount of NHL experience in three seasons in the NHL but are still young enough such that perhaps they still have untapped potential.
Phil Di Giuseppe
Di Giuseppe’s development path has been an interesting one. He arrived as a player with more of a skill leaning but along the way has developed into more of a physical forechecker and power forward. Along the way his offense evaporated. But Di Giuseppe had one quick scoring outburst late in 2017-18. Could that be a sign that at 24 years old Di Giuseppe was ready to put it all together and find a higher gear?
McGinn is one of a few entering his fourth season in the NHL. He broke out a bit in 2017-18 with 16 goals. Perhaps that was McGinn hitting his ceiling, but the next level would be McGinn boosting his scoring in total and possibly reaching 20 goals.
Brett Pesce, like his defense partner Jaccob Slavin, is only entering his fourth season in the NHL. At 23 years old, there is still the potential for upside from Pesce primarily on the offensive side of the puck. I do not see him becoming a regular on the power play, but I do think he has the potential to score more at even strength.
Despite being a veteran already, Slavin is only 24 years old and just entering his fourth season in the NHL. The potential upside for Slavin lies in his offensive play. He is not a pure back end play maker, but he skates well enough that perhaps he can still take a jump in terms of driving play up the ice to attack off the rush.
What say you Canes fans?
1) Which if any of these fourth year players will see a sizable boost in 2018-19 after settling in as an NHLer?
2) Do you see any other young players who could potentially see a sudden rise in 2018-19?