The Carolina Hurricanes sent Elias Lindholm to the minors last week with the plan of giving him more playing time with the Charlotte Checkers, adapt more to the NHL ice and be brought back up in less than a month.
But instead of calling Lindholm back up in a couple of weeks, why not Victor Rask instead?
Rask was drafted by the Canes in the second round of the 2011 draft and after two successful seasons with the Calgary Hitmen in the WHL, he joined the Checkers at the start of this season.
In 12 games so far, Rask has 10 points and is the team’s current leader with former linemate, Chris Terry, with the Hurricanes.
Lindholm has struggled a little more in the AHL, scoring no points two games.
And there’s reasons why Rask has scored more – he’s used to the bigger ice and was playing with Terry and Zach Boychuk, two prolific AHL scorers. Lindholm has just joined the team and is still getting used to different systems and styles of play.
But with that type of production, the Canes should at least give Rask a chance before Lindholm, possibly taking Terry’s current spot on the roster.
Terry hasn’t looked bad with the Hurricanes, but isn’t too noticeable either. However, he does bring a few tangibles by playing the point and shootout acumen.
However, those skill sets could potentially be filled by Rask. He’s good enough defensively to play the point on the power-play and was a big scorer in juniors with 47 goals in 101 games.
There are reasons to bringing Lindholm back up with the Canes – he has more potential than Rask and is ready for the NHL, while Rask can still improve in the AHL, but I believe Lindholm could also learn some valuable things with the Checkers.
The transition to the NHL hasn’t been the simplest for the 18-year-old and while he was improving before being sent down to the Checkers, he can still improve in the AHL.
Calling up Rask should be an option considered by the Hurricanes, he’s shown he can score with the Checkers, something the Canes could use, and could always be sent back down if things don’t work out.