The Carolina Hurricanes haven’t had the luxury of having NHL-ready players playing for the Charlotte Checkers over the years. Should the lack of AHL development be a point of concern for the Carolina Hurricanes?
Right now, there are two skaters on the Carolina Hurricanes roster that have played over 45 games in the AHL with the Charlotte Checkers/Albany River Rats. Those two players are Drayson Bowman and Riley Nash.
Drayson Bowman has showed very little in his 176 games NHL career. He was successful in the American Hockey League, but that success has never translated to the NHL. At 25-years-old, Drasyon Bowman may be running out of time to prove if he is worthy of being in the Carolina Hurricanes organization. He may not even get re-signed this offseason.
Riley Nash has been more successful than Drayson Bowman, but in far fewer games. In 110 NHL games, Riley Nash has 34 points. 24 of those points came in the 2013-2014 season. Nash’s 34 points is one more than Drayson Bowman, but he has played 66 games fewer.
Zach Boychuk has been trapped in the minor leagues for years. I am one of many people that think he has not been given a fair shot at the NHL. It’s a bit interesting how Drayson Bowman has seen 80 more NHL games than Zach Boychuk, even though Drayson Bowman has had a very underwhelming NHL career to date. I think Zach Boychuk is a player who is ready to play in the NHL, but he needs to get an opportunity to succeed first.
Players like Chris Terry, Michal Jordan, and Brett Sutter have all played NHL games, but they have not been able to stick at the next level. They are good in the AHL, but they are not NHL players yet.
I think the Charlotte Checkers need to be a place of concern for Ron Francis, General Manager of the Carolina Hurricanes. The team itself missed the playoffs this year, and there will likely only be two former Checkers’ standouts on the Carolina Hurricanes next season.
That being said, there are still promising young players in Charlotte going into next season. The likes of Victor Rask, Dan Biega, and Brody Sutter are all still young, developing players, but if they don’t pan out well, there should be major concern for the Carolina Hurricanes.