The NHL and AHL playoffs are still a few weeks away, but playoffs for the lower levels including NCAA and the Canadian Hockey League are getting ready to kick off.
If you missed it, the ‘Midterm’ check in on Warren Foegele along with links to the previous 14 mid-season updates was posted on Wednesday. That leaves only 2 players (Nicolas Roy and Jeremy Helvig) of the Hurricanes prospects below the AHL level yet to be updated.
Here is a quick guide to playoff hockey for the Hurricanes prospects below the AHL level.
Canes prospects at NCAA level are finished for 2016-17 season.
None of the Hurricanes US college prospects made the NCAA tourney, so their seasons are finished. Because they are students and amateurs, they are not eligible to join the Charlotte Checkers. The Hurricanes NCAA prospects include Matthew Filipe (Northeastern University), Jack LaFontaine (University of Michigan), Max Zimmer (University of Wisconsin), Luke Stevens (Yale University) and David Cotton (Boston College).
The other 2 playoff misses
Hudson Elynuik and his Spokane Chiefs did not qualify for the Western Hockey League playoffs. Elynuik has signed a try out contract with the Checkers and will join them for the remainder of the season.
In addition, Aleksi Saarela‘s team in Finland missed the playoffs. Saarela is signed to an entry-level deal with the Hurricanes, so he could theoretically jump the pond and play a few games with the Charlotte Checkers though I have not hear that to be the case yet.
Players to watch in Canadian junior playoffs
The team to watch in the Canadian junior playoffs is the Saint John Sea Dogs in the QMJHL. Canes prospect Spencer Smallman captains that team, and he has been joined by Julien Gauthier and Callum Booth who were acquired via trade. Saint John finished first overall in the QMJHL in the regular season and has a chance to go deep in the playoffs. Saint John matches up with Rimouski in a series that starts on Friday.
Also in the QMJHL, Nicolas Roy and the Chicoutime Sagueneens take on the Victoriaville Tigres in the first round of the playoffs.
The OHL playoffs will be busy with Hurricanes prospects.
Warren Foegele and his Erie Otters play the Sarnia Sting.
Noah Carroll and the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds play the Flint Firebirds.
Steven Lorentz and the Peterborough Petes play the Niagara Ice Dogs.
Jeremy Helvig and the Kingston Frontenacs play the Hamilton Bulldogs.
And Janne Kuokkanen and the London Knights play the Windsor Spitfires.
When you add it up, the Carolina Hurricanes organization is represented in 5 of the 8 first round playoff series.
Out west, Jake Bean will lead the Calgary Hitmen into the playoffs and a first round match up against the Regina Pats.