January 24, 2013; Raleigh, NC, USA; Carolina Hurricanes center Eric Staal (12) celebrates his 2nd period goal in from of the Buffalo Sabres goalieJhonas Enroth
(1) and left wingTyler Ennis
(63) at the PNC center. Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports
1st Line: Eric Staal
2nd Line: Jordan Staal
3rd Line: Riley Nash
4th Line: Jay McClement
Missed the Cut: Victor Rask, Ben Holmstrom
The center depth on the Carolina Hurricanes may be the team’s strongest asset. It could also be a major let down if the Staal brothers can not live up to expectations.
Eric Staal is coming off his worst point producing season since his rookie season. If he can be a 70+ point producer once again for the Carolina Hurricanes, the first line will be a very good one.
Jordan Staal has had a rough first two seasons with the Carolina Hurricanes, and the team needs him to turn that around. He needs to start playing his game and stop worrying about getting points. If he plays a physical, two-way brand of hockey, the points will come just like they did in Pittsburgh.
Riley Nash is entering a contract season. He will need to prove that he is capable of being a good, reliable replacement for Brandon Sutter as the third-line center in order to earn a one-way deal for next season.
Jay McClement is an upgrade over Manny Malhotra in the fourth line center position. He is a stellar defensive forward. Expect him to be a very stable player that sees a lot of penalty kill time. He could also be a 20+ point producer.
Victor Rask and Ben Holmstrom will likely see most of the season with the Charlotte Checkers in the AHL. Of course, injuries would likely change that.