Carolina Hurricanes Top 10 Prospects: Trade Deadline Edition

Sept 18, 2015; Raleigh, NC, USA; Carolina Hurricanes defensemen Haydn Fleury (4) skates with puck during training camp at PNC Arena. Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports
Sept 18, 2015; Raleigh, NC, USA; Carolina Hurricanes defensemen Haydn Fleury (4) skates with puck during training camp at PNC Arena. Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports /
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Honorable Mentions

Daniel Alsthuller

Position: Goalie

Age: 21

Acquired: 3rd Round (69th overall), 2012 NHL Draft

CC Preseason Rank: Not Ranked

The evolution of young goalie Daniel Altshuller not only improves his stock amongst prospects, but it has also made a big impact on the state of the organization.

After a concerning rookie season as a professional hockey player in 2014-2015, Altshuller has bounced back and played big time hockey in 2015-2016.

He started the season with the Florida Everblades in the ECHL, posting a 10-3-0 record in 14 appearances. He logged an ECHL best 1.58 goals against average and a .941 save percentage before being called up to the Charlotte Checkers in December.

Early in his run with the Checkers, he had taken over the starting job while keeping up his impressive numbers. Unfortunately, his sub-1.50 goals against average and save percentage north of .940 after 11 starts has dropped off hard as of late, seeing his AHL goals against average rise back up to 2.51 with a .916 save percentage.

Altshuller earned his first NHL call up on January 20 in wake of Cam Ward’s concussion. He served as a backup for three games prior to being sent back to the Checkers heading into the 2016 NHL All-Star Break. He, again, was called up for backup duties in mid-February. He has yet to get into any NHL games.

Despite an up and down sophomore season, this young goalie is on the rise. He is a big bodied goalie (6’3″, 205 lbs.) who takes up a lot of the goal. He thrives on his good positioning and his calmness in net. For being as young as he is, he has very good poise.

NHL ETA: 2017-2018

Projected Ceiling: NHL Backup 

David Cotton

Position: Center

Age: 18

Acquired: 6th Round (169th overall), 2015 NHL Draft

CC Preseason Rank: Not Ranked

A late draft pick from this past June, David Cotton is a player that has serious sleeper upside.

Cotton is a big power forward who has great hands and solid skating ability for a player who stands at 6’3″ and north of 200 pounds. He has a great net-front presence, and he uses that to pick up dirty rebound goals and create trouble for opposing goalies.

He isn’t a big player with a low skill set. His combination of hands, shot, and skating ability make him a dangerous offensive player all over the ice, not just when he is camped in front of the goalie. He also has a good faceoff acumen and is reliable in his own end.

He is in the midst of his first year in the USHL with the Waterloo Black Hawks. He has netted 13 goals and 25 total points in 36 games. He ranks third on the club in both goals and points.

Cotton will play his college hockey at the prestigious Boston College next fall. Carolina players Noah Hanifin and Nathan Gerbe both played at BC in college.

If Cotton can keep developing his two-way game and adding muscle to his already massive frame, he could jump up the prospect rankings quickly. He is still very raw and has a lot of work to do, but the base is there for him to turn into a good player down the road for the Hurricanes’ organization following what will likely be a four-year stint at BC.

NHL ETA: 2021-2022

Projected Ceiling: Bottom-Six NHL Two-Way Center

Josh Wesley

Position: Defense

Age: 19

Acquired: 4th Round (96th Overall), 2014 NHL Draft

CC Preseason Rank: Honorable Mention

Josh Wesley has the hockey roots that most prospects would be jealous of. The son of Hurricanes legend Glen Wesley, he has established himself in the OHL as a reliable shutdown blue liner.

In his first two OHL seasons, Wesley was fairly one dimensional. He has great size (6’3″, 201 lbs.), and he used that and his defensive instincts to be the number one stay at home defenseman for the then Plymouth Whalers (the Whalers moved to Flint and became the Firebirds following the 2014-2015 season).

Now in his third OHL season, Wesley has seen a big uptick in his offensive production. He tallied 12 points in 24 games and was a +2 for a bad Flint team prior to being traded, alongside fellow Canes prospect Alex Nedeljkovic, to the Niagara Ice Dogs on December 7.

He has picked up 7 points in 29 games with Niagara since the trade, and he is a +6 with his new team.

Wesley is still a pretty raw prospect, but he is starting to show his upside on both sides of the puck. Ultimately, he projects as a big, physical shutdown defenseman, but it is good to see that he is chipping in a bit more offensively at the junior level.

He will play another year with the Ice Dogs in 2016-2017 prior to making the jump to professional hockey, so he has another year and a half to really up his game and become a more well-rounded player.

NHL ETA: 2020-2021

Projected Ceiling: Third Pairing NHL Shutdown Defenseman 

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