Calling It Now: 10 Premonitions for the 2017-18 Carolina Hurricanes Season by Cory Fogg

Calling It Now: 10 Premonitions for the 2017-18 Carolina Hurricanes Season by Cory Fogg

Matt’s quick introduction: This week we will introduce the 2017-18 writing team at Canes and Coffee with a short series of articles that takes a look into the crystal ball and/or previews the 2017-18 Carolina Hurricanes season. Up first is Cory Fogg who I am thrilled to have back for a second season at Canes and Coffee. Cory’s writing will run the gamut, but his specialty is writing feature articles that go in depth on a particular topic. Welcome back Cory!   As we count down to opening night, we all have our thoughts on what’s going to happen. Really the only givens over the past nine years have been that ‘we won’t make the playoffs’ and the opener is better known as “The Game with the Most Hurricanes Fans in Attendance All Season’. Many Caniacs, myself included, believe that this season is the first year in that span with a real chance of getting out of Rebuilding Mode and into Playoff Mode. My roommate and I, both half season-ticket holders, always enjoy going through the season playing Nostradamus over what’s going to happen next. The phrase “Calling it now” is often heard in our domain, usually followed by some ridiculous premonition that we’re only saying so that we can have ‘In-House Hockey Genius’ bragging rights. Or just the sound of hot air expanding in our heads.  In any case, with the Hurricanes season now here, I thought it would be fun to channel my inner hockey clairvoyant for all of you. Because, obviously, the more people who know, the higher the ego boost if I’m right. So without...
Is Janne Kuokkanen the next Sebastian Aho?

Is Janne Kuokkanen the next Sebastian Aho?

Monday wrapped up my series of articles on the Hurricanes prospect pool. There is much to be optimistic and excited about, but perhaps the player rising most rapidly right now is Janne Kuokkanen. At the risk of overhyping Kuokkanen, today’s Daily Cup of Joe takes a look at the parallels between Kuokkanen’s development thus far and the path taken by fellow Fin Sebastian Aho.   Sebastian Aho With the 35th draft pick in the 2015 NHL draft, the Carolina Hurricanes selected Sebastian Aho. He was a bit off the board in terms of the mean draft rankings and also a bit of an unknown being a European prospect. In fact, the first step in the process of welcoming Aho into the Hurricanes prospect pool was clarifying that the Sebastian Aho in question was the forward from Finland and not the defenseman from Sweden. When the Hurricanes passed on a handful of bigger names, bigger players in terms of size and more well-known players from North America, there was a mini-uproar on Twitter from many of the June draft experts who had Aho nowhere to be found at least this early in the mock drafts. Aho first arrived in Raleigh for the 2015 Carolina Hurricanes prospect camp. He had a strong week but not really anything that screamed “super star…and very soon.” While some were still transitioning from whoever it was they thought Francis should have selected instead of Aho at #35, I rated his play at prospect camp top of the class in this article that was one of Canes and Coffee’s first on our July 29, 2015 official...
Ranking the Carolina Hurricanes prospects — Part 3A: Forwards (#1-5)

Ranking the Carolina Hurricanes prospects — Part 3A: Forwards (#1-5)

After a delay while covering the news of Brett Pesce’s contract extension (‘Initial thoughts’ are HERE, and ‘A second level of detail is HERE.), today’s Daily Cup of Joe is part 3A of a series assessing and ranking the Hurricanes prospects. Part 1 featured the five goalie prospects, and part 2 assessed the 15 defensemen in the Hurricanes organization. Part 3A today starts into the sizable group of prospect and AHL veteran forwards. So I can discuss at least the top half of the group in some detail without writing a novel, the forwards will be split into a couple parts.   Forwards Whereas the Hurricanes blue line prospect pool has a couple good high-end prospects but is actually a bit thin simply because so many young players have already jumped to the NHL level (which is obviously the goal, so that is a good thing), I would say that Francis’ restocking of the prospect pool is complete at the forward position. My rough count is 9 forwards who are capable of playing in the top half of an NHL roster and a good mix of centers and wings, size and speed, and skill and size. At the NHL level, I think the Hurricanes current strength is its young defense, but one level lower in the prospect pool I think the greatest strength is at the forward position. Without further ado, here are the top 5 forward prospect rankings…   Prospects with top half of the roster potential and scoring upside #1 – Julien Gauthier (Charlotte Checkers-AHL) Gauthier (Article log HERE) is nearly in a class by himself in...
Hurricanes Prospect Power Rankings: TL;DR…It was a real good week

Hurricanes Prospect Power Rankings: TL;DR…It was a real good week

Thursday at Canes and Coffee is taking on a “the future is bright” theme. Check out also part 1 of Jordan Futrell’s Charlotte Checkers playoff series preview HERE, and come back and look for part 2 mid-day on Thursday. If you haven’t already, please help us prepare for the 2017-18 season by completing a short survey and considering a modest financial contribution.   I love nerding out on hockey. It’s just such a fun sport any way you look at it. Especially when the statistical research shows how awesome the Hurricanes prospect pool is right now. The number of prospects in this week’s Power Rankings has dropped to nine (bye, Jake Bean). Trying to rank the Top 5 this week was especially problematic, as multiple Hurricanes prospects decided to step up their games in the last week, and really deliver for their teams in the playoffs. Suffice it to say, that’s a very good problem to have. Let’s get to it:   1. Janne Kuokkanen – London Knights (Last week #3) 10 Goals – 6 Assists – 16 Points in 14 games London was just eliminated by Warren Foegele and the Erie Otters (more on that below), but there is no way London pushes this series to 7 games without Kuokkanen. He carried London’s offense throughout the playoffs, finishing with three more goals and four more points than the 2nd highest Knight. He was also a finalist for OHL Player of the Week. Breaking News: As I’m posting this, the Checkers have added Kuokkanen to the playoff roster. I believe he’s still CHL-bound next year, but as London is done,...
Hurricanes Prospect Update: Top 10 Canadian Juniors Playoff Performances

Hurricanes Prospect Update: Top 10 Canadian Juniors Playoff Performances

For “playoff day” at Canes and Coffee, please also check out Jordan Futrell’s update on the Checkers’ playoff chase and Matt Karash’s Canes NHL playoff guide featuring draft pick implications and a roundup of former Hurricanes players in the NHL postseason.   I don’t know about you all, but I’m not at all ready for hockey to be done. Luckily in addition to our surging AHL team, Canes nation still has 10 prospects still active up in Canadian juniors, where the playoffs are in full swing. I was initially going to include the college prospects too, but wouldn’t you know it, not a single Canes college prospect made the NCAA tournament. Not even David Cotton’s Boston College and they are usually disgustingly consistent like that. Still, entirely for the purposes of this article, this is a good thing, because now I can easily format this Hurricanes prospect playoff update into a convenient Top 10 list. RANDOM SLIGHTLY UNRELATED BREAKING NEWS There’s the first move. Ron Francis says that David Marcoux’s contract will not be renewed. #Canes — Canes and Coffee (@CanesandCoffee) April 12, 2017 So let’s not draw this out: Here’s how the Hurricanes’ Canadian juniors prospects are faring with the lights glaring, ranked entirely on my subjective statistical analysis.   1. Steven Lorentz – Peterborough Petes 6 Goals – 4 Assists – 10 Points in 7 games. Yeah, this wasn’t the first name you expected to see on this list, was it? Well, Lorentz has been the top scorer for a Peterborough team that hasn’t lost yet. They swept Niagara in Round 1 of the OHL playoffs and...