The Carolina Hurricanes have not made the playoffs since 2008-2009. It has taken them a while to become a respectable NHL team again. They have been drafting well and have one of the best prospect pools in the NHL. General Manager Ronny Francis has done a tremendous job scouting players and they will one day become a serious championship contender again.
10. Alex Nedeljkovic, Goalie: Nedelijkovic struggled last season, but there is no reason why he can’t be the future net minder still in Carolina. In 25 games with the Charlotte Checkers (AHL), his record was 8-14 with a .881 save percentage and 3.40 GAA, along with one shutout. Because of his shaky play, he was sent to the Florida Everblades (ECHL). In 12 games, his record was 6-4 with a .903 save percentage and a 2.97 GAA, along with one shutout.
9. Lucas Wallmark, Center: He was a fourth round pick in the 2014 NHL Draft. Wallmark played with the Charlotte Checkers (AHL) last season. In 67 games, he scored 24 goals and recorded 22 assists. His plus/minus was 13. In 5-playoff games, he scored three goals and recorded three assists. Wallmark will most likely be a key role player in 2017-2018 if somebody gets hurt for Carolina.
8. Martin Necas, Center: The Carolina Hurricanes are loading up on centers for the near future. He is 18 years old and isn’t NHL ready, but he does have upside. In 41 games with Brno Kometa (Czech), he scored 7 goals and recorded 8 assists. His plus/minus was -4. In 10-playoff games, he scored four goals. Necas won’t be signed to a contract for at least probably two years.
7. Alexi Saarela, Forward: Saarela was actually drafted by the New York Rangers in the third round of the 2015 NHL Draft. He was in part of a trade that sent his contract rights to Carolina for Eric Staal in 2016. Saarela played in 49 games with Lukko Rauma (SM-Liiga), he scored 15 goals and recorded 13 assists. His plus/minus was -7. Saarela also played in nine games with the Charlotte Checkers (AHL) last season. He scored 6 goals and recorded 4 assists. His plus/minus was 7. Saarela didn’t record a point in five-playoff games. He will most likely polish his game in the AHL this season. He could be a third liner in the 2018-2019 season for Carolina.
6. Warren Foegele, Center: Foegele is a very good sniper and puck distributor. He was drafted in the third round of the 2014 NHL Draft. In 33 games with the Erie Otters, he scored 16 goals and recorded 16 assists. His plus/minus was 21. In 22-playoff games, Foegele scored 13 goals and recorded 13 assists. Foegele was one of the main reasons why the Erie Otters won the 2017 OHL Championship.
5. Janne Kuokkanen, Center: Kuokkanen is another player that provides depth at the center position for the Hurricanes in their prospect pool. He is another sniper and playmaker. In 60 games with the London Knights (OHL), he scored 26 goals and recorded 36 assists. His plus/minus was 23. In 14-playoff games, he scored 10 goals and record 6 assists.
4. Haydn Fleury, Defense: Fleury is a puck moving defenseman and he also plays solid defense. He was drafted seventh overall in the 2014 NHL Draft. In 69 games with the Charlotte Checkers (AHL) last season, he scored 7 goals and recorded 19 assists. His plus/minus was 16. In five-playoff games, Fleury didn’t record a point. Fleury will continue to develop his game in the AHL to start the season, but he will probably see some NHL games this season.
3. Julien Gauthier, Forward: Gauthier was drafted in the first round of the 2016 NHL Draft (21st overall). Gauthier has offensive firepower. He is only 19 years old and has been playing in the QMJHL since 2013. In 23 games with the Val d’Or Foreurs, he scored 7 goals and recorded 20 assists. His plus/minus was 1. Gauthier was then traded to the Saint John Sea Dogs. In 20 games with them, he scored 10 goals and recorded 14 assists. His plus/minus was 11. In 16-playoff games, he scored 11 goals and recorded 6 assists. Gauthier was one of the reasons why the Saint John Sea Dogs won the QMJHL Championship. Gauthier will most likely play most of the 2017-2018 season in the AHL.
2. Jake Bean, Defenseman: Bean was selected 13th overall in the 2016 NHL Draft. The Hurricanes are very high on Bean and they hope he can make an impact some point either this season or in the near future. He is 19 years old and Bean is another puck moving defense and one day could help out on the Hurricanes power play. In 43 games with the Calgary Hitmen (WHL), Bean scored 8 goals and recorded 37 assists. His plus/minus was -2. In four-playoff games, he recorded two assists.
1.Nicolas Roy, Center: Roy is another prime example of the center position that the Hurricanes have to offer. He is another offensive weapon and will be another solid role player for the Hurricanes in the future. In 53 games with the Chicoutimi Sagueneens (QMJHL), he scored 36 goals and recorded 44 assists. His plus/minus was 30. In 17-playoff games, he scored 8 goals and recorded 13 assists. Roy is a very good two-way player. He will most likely develop his game some more this season in the AHL.