Ranking the Carolina Hurricanes prospects — Part 2: Defensemen

Ranking the Carolina Hurricanes prospects — Part 2: Defensemen

Early on Monday morning, I started on a tour of the Hurricanes prospect pool and even talked myself into forging down the road of doing rankings at least at a positional level. The first article in the series which you can find here addressed the goalies.   Defensemen Part two will look at the prospect pool for the blue line. Because the Hurricanes have spent so many recent high draft picks on defensemen and also benefited from Jaccob Slavin and Brett Pesce rising up ahead of schedule, the general perception in our Hurricanes hockey community seems to be that the team is deep in terms of youth on the blue line. That is very clearly true at the NHL level where the team boasts a top with an average age under 23, but the rapid rise of the young NHL group has actually left a bit of a gap behind them in terms of the prospect pool. Francis restocked a bit in the 2017 NHL draft selecting three defensemen and there are still a couple higher-end players who are near NHL-ready but the volume of depth is actually still a little bit light right now. Without further ado, here is my ranking for the Hurricanes defense prospect pool…   Established prospects with top half of the roster potential #1 – Haydn Fleury (Charlotte Checkers-AHL) Fleury (Article log HERE) tops my list of prospect defensemen based on both reasonably high upside and a high probability of at least some leve of success. I have had him penciled in as a #5/#6 defenseman at the NHL level for some time now....
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: Noah Carroll (Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds, Ontario Hockey League)

MIDTERMS: Noah Carroll (Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds, Ontario Hockey League)

Noah Carroll 2016-17 season capsule After a tough 2015-16 season on an undermanned Guelph Storm blue line in 2015-16, Noah Carroll looked to rebound in 2016-17 and lead a better defense. He played 32 games with Guelph in 2016-17 notching 2 goals and 11 assists and improving his plus minus significantly from minus 48 during the challenging 2015-16 campaign to plus 2 in nearly half of a season in 2016-17. He was traded near the trade deadline to the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds where he has settled into a second pairing role and collected 5 points in his first 13 games with his new team.   Mid-season thoughts on Noah Carroll from Brock Otten from OHL Prospects Brock Otten (Twitter=@BrockOtten) is the man behind OHL Prospects, a blog that has covered the OHL extensively since 2008. Here you’ll find draft rankings, player bios, interviews, and other OHL related news.   Canes and Coffee: How would you summarize Noah Carroll’s 2016-17 season with the Guelph Storm before his trade on January 6? Brock Otten: Carroll’s time with Guelph to start the year could be characterized by the word “inconsistent.” I thought he started the year pretty well and looked refreshed and confident in the early going. But as Guelph’s losses started to pile up, Carroll’s game began to slip a bit. At times, he looked visibly frustrated out there by his inability to turn things around. Bad passes, bad pinches and some of the decision making issues that plagued him last year crept back into his game. In essence, he looked like a guy trying to do too much for...
Noah Carroll – Diamond in the Guelph?

Noah Carroll – Diamond in the Guelph?

On Tuesday, the Carolina Hurricanes prospects who went 3-0 in the round robin play will play in the championship game of the Traverse City NHL prospects tournament. I wrote a brief recap from the first 2 games HERE and then a recap of the third game HERE. My count says that the Hurricanes prospect roster features seven players who were selected in either the first or the second round. It also features a few other mid-round picks who have tracked well and are considered promising NHL prospects at this point in their development. Playing largely against players their own age, those higher-end prospects are expected to be at the top of the class in this tourney. But the prospect tourney also offers the chance for wild cards selected late in the draft from where few NHL players emerge to boost their stock. Hopefully I do not jinx him by writing this article before the tourney finale, but I am beginning to think that the Hurricanes found a diamond in the rough with their seventh round pick in the 2016 NHL draft.   Why he was available in the seventh round Before the start of the 2015-16 season, many scouts and analysts had Noah Carroll as a mid-round pick to be drafted as early as the third round. But he had a tough 2015-16 season. I think it is important to understand the circumstances surrounding that as a starting point for understanding why he was available in the seventh round and why that could turn out to be a steal. Brock Otten from OHL Prospects spoke about his challenging situation...