If you missed it late last night, the Carolina Hurricanes climbed into the win column for the first time in 2016-17 last night, so the recap/notes are are much happier read than previous game recaps so far this season.
Here are a few random player observations through 4 games this season:
Bryan Bickell: He has been a pleasant surprise thus far. I do not see him being more than a fourth-liner, but if he does that effectively and continues to play a key role on the power play as a net front presence that will be a big win. He has now been the screen on 2 Hurricanes power plays already in this young season.
Elias Lindholm: His transition back to his natural center position after primarily playing right win for 3 straight seasons in the NHL has been pretty smooth. From what he has done thus far, it is hard to project him as a high point producing playmaking center, but he looks comfortable and sound in terms of decision-making and positioning. At a minimum that is a recipe for being a sound 2-way third line center. Could being back at center also boost his offense once he settles in and help him push up closer to his expected ceiling? One can hope, but regardless he is at least building a foundation as a serviceable top 9 NHL center which is not a bad thing.
Sebastian Aho: He fairly quietly has 3 points in 4 games not so much from constantly driving offense but rather from making a couple nice plays. I do not think we will get a real read on Aho’s game until he he settles in. He seemed to settle down a little bit in game 4 in Calgary after regular minor struggles handling the puck through 3 games. Whether it is jitters or early-season rust, I think starting to consistently handle the puck more smoothly could serve as the sign that he is ready to make his next move up. And to think he is playing at a 60-point pace while trying to settle in.
Jaccob Slavin and Brett Pesce: Early on both players are showing signs that they can repeat their ahead of schedule play as top 4 NHL defensemen.