Victor Rask: 2016-17 Carolina Hurricanes report card

Victor Rask: 2016-17 Carolina Hurricanes report card

Victor Rask is first up in what will hopefully be a May full of individual player report cards that both assess their 2016-17 season and also look forward to 2017-18. After being a bit late today, my hope is to try to post one ‘report card’ per day in time for lunchtime reading, so please grab a sandwich and stop by, and if I miss a day please remember that it is the off-season. 🙂  I did a late-night writing binge into the wee hours of the morning to get ahead of the schedule, so I should be able to hold schedule for at least 10-12 days. My tentative plan is to work through the forwards first in random order based on what I feel like writing and then follow up with the defensemen and goalies.   Victor Rask’s starting point for the 2016-17 season Victor Rask had a strong 2015-16 campaign that saw him take a significant step up from 33 points in 2014-15 to 48 points in 2015-16. Along the way, he solidified himself in the slot next to Jeff Skinner and just generally took a step forward in his sophomore season. For his effort, he was rewarded with a 6-year $4 million per season contract that figured to lock him into a top 9 slot with the Hurricanes for the foreseeable future.   Victor Rask’s 2016-17 season with the Carolina Hurricanes With multiple new forwards joining the team, the lines had the potential to be jumbled, but he found himself in a familiar role centering Jeff Skinner’s line in training camp with newcomer Lee Stempniak on his...
Victor Rask rising

Victor Rask rising

The 2015-16 headline Hurricanes stories of the 2015-16 season for the broader hockey world are Justin Faulk’s goal-scoring binge and Eric Staal’s contract situation. And for a small market team currently on the outside of the playoff chase, that seems to be all the news that the broader NHL community wants right now. But past that, they are missing 2 great stories both tied to the Hurricanes future. The first is the rapid emergence of the Hurricanes young blue line that currently features 3 rookies. The second is Victor Rask. I have written in some detail about the young blue line, and today will highlight Victor Rask. From everything that I read, Victor Rask yet to break onto the radar at a broader level, but Hurricanes fans who watch the team game-by-game are seeing it.   Built a solid defensive foundation in 2014-15 Rask burst onto the scene from a spot or 2 off the depth chart last training camp. When Jordan Staal broke his leg in a preseason game, Rask was forced prematurely up the depth chart despite having no NHL experience. He performed admirably when more or less parachuted into the NHL at 21 years old and with only 1 season of professional experience, all at the AHL level. What stood out right from the beginning was his ability to read situations correctly and play good positional hockey on both offense and defense and with and without the puck. That is the fancy way of saying that he was instantly qualified as a sound checking line center. He showed flashes of skill and offensive ability but put...