On Tuesday, Ron Francis announced the Carolina Hurricanes 2014 Development Camp Roster. The Development Camp will be held July 21-26 at the PNC Arena, and will be finished off with a game and skills competition on the 26th as part of the Hurricanes Summerfest celebration. With a slow off-season full of inactivity for the Hurricanes, this development camp will be a good chance for all fans to see the organization’s top prospects and possible future players. The camp will feature previously drafted Hurricanes players along with a couple of undrafted invitees. Here are a few prospects that everyone should keep an eye on.
Perhaps one of the most intriguing players at this years Prospects Camp will be 2014 1st round selection, Haydn Fleury. After being selected 7th overall, Fleury has very high expectations and projects to be a future top-4 defenseman in the NHL. Although he may take a few years to develop into a NHL-ready player, it will be very interesting to see how he looks compared to other players at the camp. I think I speak for every Carolina Hurricanes fan when I say that he needs to be the real deal. Not to put too much pressure on the kid, but if he plays well, he could give the Hurricanes something to think about when they decide on the 2014-2015 roster.
Another player to keep an eye on is former 2nd round pick, Phil Di Giuseppe. After being taken 38th overall in the 2012 NHL Draft, Di Giuseppe has become somewhat of a disappointment. He put up a 26 point campaign in 2011-2012 for the University of Michigan and showed promising offensive ability. However, he followed this performance up with 28 points in 2012-2013 and only 24 points in 2013-2014. Although he has not quite lived up to expectations thus far, Di Giuseppe could still develop into an impact player for the Carolina Hurricanes in the future. He should play his first full season for the Charlotte Checkers this coming year and will hopefully play up to his potential.
Brock McGinn promises to be one of the most exciting prospects to watch at the 2014 Development Camp. McGinn was taken #47 overall by the Hurricanes in the 2012 NHL Draft and has improved tremendously over the past few years. Although he was originally known for his hard work ethic and willingness to go to the dirty areas, McGinn showed offensive potential this past season with Guelph of the OHL. In 58 games, McGinn posted 43 goals and 85 points. He also put up 6 more goals and 12 points in 12 playoff games. Look for Brock McGinn to become a full-time impact player on the Charlotte Checkers next season, and possibly get a call-up or two. He is projected to be a future 3rd line player, but he continues to show that he has a great amount of upside.
Brett Pesce is another interesting player to keep an eye on during the prospects camp. The 6’3, 170 Ib defenseman was taken 66th overall at the 2013 NHL Entry Draft. He is a little bit of a project, but Pesce has the size and awareness to become a solid defenseman in the NHL someday. Pesce just completed his second full season at the University of New Hampshire where he put up 21 points in 41 games. Brett is not a flashy player, but he has a great ability to win puck battles in his own end and not make mistakes. It may be a few years before he makes a significant contribution to the Hurricanes, but he is definitely one to keep an eye on.
Last, but not least, is Daniel Altshuller. The 6’4, 201 Ib goaltender was taken 69th overall at the 2012 NHL Draft by the Hurricanes. He recently completed his third full season with the Oshawa Generals of the OHL, where he put up a 31-13-3 record with a 2.56 GAA and a .917 Save Percentage. Altshuller has made steady improvements over the last few seasons, and will need to keep improving in order to make the jump at the AHL and NHL level. He contains the size and athleticism to become a possible goalie in the NHL, but that day is probably 2-4 years away. Altshuller looks to compete for the starting goalie gig in Charlotte next season, where he can hopefully make his mark. Hurricanes fans should pay close attention to him during the prospects camp, as he is the top goalie in the Carolina Hurricanes system.
The Carolina Hurricanes Summerfest celebration will be held on Saturday, July 26th. I highly recommend that all Carolina Hurricanes fans attend the prospect scrimmage and skills competition. It is a great chance to look at the Hurricanes’ best prospects and enjoy some off-season hockey. Let’s hope for a good camp and remainder of the off-season. Go Canes!