Checking In: Lucas Wallmark Charlotte Checkers 2016-17 season review

Checking In: Lucas Wallmark Charlotte Checkers 2016-17 season review

If you missed it yesterday, a Charlotte Checkers season review for Haydn Fleury kicked off a series of articles evaluating the 2016-17 season for top Hurricanes prospects at the AHL level.   Lucas Wallmark’s starting point coming out of the 2015-16 season Lucas Wallmark spent the 2015-2016 season in the Swedish Hockey League (SHL) playing for Luleå Hockeyförening. This was Wallmark’s third and final season in the SHL, and he decided to make it his best season in the SHL as well. He scored 8 goals and dished out 24 assists in 48 games. His point total was a 14 point increase from the prior season, and Wallmark was becoming more comfortable with finding his own shot and not just creating chances for others. This was evident with the 7 goals that he scored in the postseason with Luleå compared to tallying just 2 assists in 11 games.   Lucas Wallmark: 2016-17 with the Charlotte Checkers First of the season: Like Haydn Fleury but at a more amplified level, Wallmark entered the season with a timid approach. Even more than Fleury, he was being hesitant when it came to the offensive side of the puck. He wasn’t taking many shots, rather deferring to his pass the puck to his teammates for shots. Even when he was able to breakdown the defense and create an offensive play on his own, he did not often enough finish the play and take the shot. Because of this, he looked like a skilled playmaker at the beginning of the season but with not much of a goal scoring touch to his game. This...
2016-17 partial report cards for forward try outs: Lucas Wallmark and Valentin Zykov

2016-17 partial report cards for forward try outs: Lucas Wallmark and Valentin Zykov

In working through the forward part of the Carolina Hurricanes’ 2016-17 report cards, there are a handful of players who saw some ice time at the NHL level but not really enough to be graded. This final ‘report card’ entry for the forwards will offer brief comments on a couple of those players who made favorable impressions in short stints with the Carolina Hurricanes.   Valentin Zykov If there was an award for volume of impression relative to volume of ice time, Valentin Zykov would be the hands down winner. He played only one game (plus a single shift in his second game that saw him get injured), but made the most of his ice time. Inserted onto a line with Jordan Staal in his NHL debut, Zykov did one thing especially well – consistently going to the front of the net. Because that work yielded a goal and because of the team’s desperate need for more of a power forward element and more presence and production near the crease, a single solid game, 11:53 of ice time and a lone goal were enough for Zykov to be noticed. A check in on Zykov with Jordan Futrell who covers the Charlotte Checkers for Canes and Coffee suggested that the power forward in his game was in fact something he had displayed over a longer stretch of games at the AHL level. And while his style of play that the Hurricanes need to add is a great starting point, Zykov will still enter training camp as more of an unknown and a dark horse to make the opening day roster....
Hurricanes recall Lucas Wallmark from Charlotte Checkers – Quick thoughts

Hurricanes recall Lucas Wallmark from Charlotte Checkers – Quick thoughts

Today the Hurricanes called up center Lucas Wallmark from Charlotte. He presumably will replace Valentin Zykov who was injured on his first shift on Saturday night and did not return. Wallmark was the Hurricanes’ fourth round draft pick in 2014. The 21-year old center is a smart 2-way center with strong playmaking skills and some ability to finish too.   Lucas Wallmark’s 2016-17 rise up the ranks Fourth-round draft picks on average have a low probability to make the NHL. The league does not have room for the 90-120th best players from each birth year. To beat those odds, a player must have a year or more when they take a significant leap forward in development and more or less pass a number of players who projected to be better players than they were at age 18. That is exactly what Lucas Wallmark has done during the 2016-17 season. After playing the 2014-15 and 2015-16 seasons in Sweden, he made the jump to the professional ranks in North America for the 2016-17 season. His season started with a strong training camp that saw him as 1 of 2 surprises to last until the finals days. (Warren Foegele was the other.) I covered Wallmark in a ‘roster roundup’ type article at the tail end of preseason. Francis and Peters ultimately went with plan A which was Jay McClement in the fourth line center slot, but along the path to getting there Wallmark definitely made an impression. From a figuring it out start, Wallmark has built quite a season in Charlotte. He is first on the team in goals scored with 21...
Checking In: ‘First impressions’ on Roland McKeown, Lucas Wallmark and Alex Nedeljkovic

Checking In: ‘First impressions’ on Roland McKeown, Lucas Wallmark and Alex Nedeljkovic

This part 2 in a series of articles that offers first impressions of Hurricanes prospects who are new at the AHL level this season (or only had a cup of tea there at the end of another season). In case you missed it, part 1 profiled Valentin Zykov, Haydn Fleury and Andrew Poturalski. Part 2 today will feature Roland McKeown, Lucas Wallmark and Alex Nedeljkovic.   Roland McKeown Pre-arrival Roland McKeown is projected to be a potential top four defenseman at the NHL level once he fully develops. He was drafted by the Los Angeles Kings 50th overall in the 2014 NHL Draft. McKeown has spent the previous three seasons with the Kingston Frontenacs of the OHL. In 2015-2016, his last season with the Frontenacs he posted 7 goals and a career high 35 assists. Starting role For most of the season McKeown has been playing on the second defensive pairing with second year Checker Jake Chelios. He has also played on the second unit of the power play and the penalty kill from time to time with Chelios. First Impressions McKeown, like Haydn Fleury, has yet to make a large impact with the Checkers. However, although not an outstanding playmaker so far, he also does not make many mistakes turning over the puck. He often favors making the simple play and does not try to force the puck up the ice. He also displays beautiful vision sometimes when he is hits an offensive player with a nice breakout pass leading to a Checkers two on one or three on two heading into the opposing team’s defensive zone. McKeown...