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...
MIDTERMS: Janne Kuokkanen (London Knights, Ontario Hockey League)

MIDTERMS: Janne Kuokkanen (London Knights, Ontario Hockey League)

Janne Kuokkanen 2016-17 season capsule After being drafted by the Carolina Hurricanes in the second round of the 2016 NHL draft, Janne Kuokkanen made the jump from Finland where he played in 2015-16 to North America. Kuokkanen is a natural center with some versatility to play wing. Thus far, he has 19 goals and 30 assists in 40 games in his first season in the OHL and also took a break to play for Finland in the world juniors tourney.   Mid-season thoughts on Janne Kuokkanen from Brendan Ross from TheScout.ca Brendan Ross (Twitter=@RossyYoungblood) currently serves as the Director of Scouting for TheScout.ca (Twitter=@TheScoutDotCa), an independent scouting agency covering hockey prospects. Throughout his career, Ross has penned NHL Draft feature articles, published annual rankings and appeared on radio talk shows such as FAN590 and TSN1200. Canes and Coffee: What were your first impressions of Janne Kuokkanen after seeing him in his first few games of OHL action with the London Knights this fall? Brendan Ross: I was fortunate to catch Kuokkanen in some pre-season contests and immediately felt that he’d come in and challenge for the OHL scoring lead. While my expectations have been pulled back now, Kuokkenen has been very impressive in his first season with the London Knights. He is a strong two-way player who has been utilized in all situations. A competitive forward, who thinks the game well and adjusts well depending on the style of game – operating with more skill when the game opens up and tightening up his defensive play when the game gets close. Canes and Coffee: What is Janne Kuokkanen’s current role on...
Assessment of Janne Kuokkanen’s WJC tourney from guest Zachary DeVine

Assessment of Janne Kuokkanen’s WJC tourney from guest Zachary DeVine

In case you missed it over the snowy weekend, Canes and Coffee was lucky enough to have Dominic Tiano from OHL Writers stop in and offer an assessment of all 4 Canes prospects who participated in the world juniors tourney. ——————————————————– Canes and Coffee was also lucky enough to get a second assessment of Janne Kuokkanen’s play from Zachary DeVine (Twitter=@zakkthebear). Zachary tracks all things Finland hockey closely and does broader NHL prospect coverage at The Hockey Writers, Dobber Prospects and The Hockey Prophets. I want to reiterate an important disclaimer/piece of context on the Kuokkanen evaluation which is not overly favorable. These tourneys whiz by in a hurry and are very short, so sometimes a bad game or 2 or even more simply a team that just does not click instantly can show unfavorably on a player. I do think evaluating players based on play against other elite players in the same age group is useful/valuable, but it must be balanced against longer-term evaluations from full seasons and even years prior to the short tourney bursts. —————————————————– By Zachary DeVine: Finland brought a young squad to the National Junior Evaluation Camp this summer in Plymouth, MI. Nearly half of the players were eligible for the 2017 NHL Entry Draft, but there were enough experienced and skilled players that everyone thought it was still a team to contend with once the games counted. And then the tournament started. In a team of disappointments, Janne Kuokkanen was second only to Olli Juolevi as the most disappointing player for Finland. Kuokkanen came over to North America and had 40 points for...
BACK TO SCHOOL: Janne Kuokkanen (Karpat U20 Finland=>London Knights)

BACK TO SCHOOL: Janne Kuokkanen (Karpat U20 Finland=>London Knights)

Next up in the ‘back to school’ series featuring Carolina Hurricanes prospects below the AHL level is Janne Kuokkanen. Menu of previous ‘back to school’ articles on Hurricanes prospects For anyone just returning to hockey after the offseason, here is a catch up reading list for similar articles on other Hurricanes prospects: Matt Filipe (Northeastern University) Jack LaFontaine (University of Michigan) Max Zimmer (University of Wisconsin) David Cotton (Boston College) Luke Stevens (Yale University) Steven Lorentz (Peterborough Petes) Noah Carroll (Guelph Storm) Jake Bean (Calgary Hitmen) Hudson Elynuik (Spokane Chiefs) Julien Gauthier (Val-d’Or Foreurs) Callum Booth (Quebec Remparts) Aleksi Saarela (Lukko Rauma-Finnish Elite League) Spencer Smallman (Saint John)   Janne Kuokkanen Janne Kuokkanen marks a return to the well for the Hurricanes selecting skilled Finnish forwards/wings in the second round of both the 2015 and 2016 NHL drafts with Sebastian Aho in 2015 and Janne Kuokkanen in 2016. With Sebastian Aho having a tremendous 2015-16 season and now being expected to make the Hurricanes 2016-17 NHL roster, it makes sense to try again. Kuokkanen is a skilled forward/wing who had 53 points in 47 games playing in the U20 Finnish junior league last season. For 2016-17, he is making the jump to North America and has already joined the London Knights of the Ontario Hockey League. A collection of articles on Janne Kuokkanen from prior to the 2016 NHL draft can be found HERE. My early impressions of Kuokkanen’s play in a Hurricanes uniform mostly from the Red-White scrimmage but also considering his play in Traverse City can be found HERE.   Interview with Brendan Ross, Director of Scouting...