Carolina Hurricanes: Prospects show future is bright

RALEIGH, NC - NOVEMBER 12: Carolina Hurricanes Right Wing Andrei Svechnikov (37) centers the puck from being the net during a game between the Chicago Blackhawks and the Carolina Hurricanes at the PNC Arena in Raleigh, NC on November 12, 2018. (Photo by Greg Thompson/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
RALEIGH, NC - NOVEMBER 12: Carolina Hurricanes Right Wing Andrei Svechnikov (37) centers the puck from being the net during a game between the Chicago Blackhawks and the Carolina Hurricanes at the PNC Arena in Raleigh, NC on November 12, 2018. (Photo by Greg Thompson/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) /
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The Carolina Hurricanes are widely considered to have one of the deepest prospect pools in the NHL. While some of those prospects have already made the NHL, many more are playing in the NHL, NCAA and junior hockey leagues. Let’s see how our brightest and best are getting on so far this season.

We’re now two months into the season, meaning prospects are settled into their expected roles, and hopefully producing as their talent indicated when they were drafted. It’s therefore the perfect moment to take our first dive of the season into the Carolina Hurricanes’ prospect pool and see how the future of the franchise is shaping up.

Already playing for the Hurricanes

The Carolina Hurricanes’ star prospect is of course Andrei Svechnikov. He’s being given sheltered minutes thus far in his NHL career – with 58.9% of offensive zone starts and third line minutes – but his recent play has been excellent. Svechnikov has six goals and six assists in 26 games, with just 14:10 of ice time per game, and is one of the few players capable of scoring a goal out of nothing. Almost every Canes fan we know wants to see him given a top six opportunity; as the team’s offense continues to stagnate, it’s surely only a matter of time before the 3rd overall pick of the 2018 Entry Draft finds his rightful place on one of the top two lines.

Warren Foegele began the season with a bang, scoring for fun in the Canes’ top six. Sadly for him – and even more so for the team – he’s now on a miserable 19-game pointless streak, during which he’s been bumped down the lineup and in the Canes’ most recent game saw a season-low of 8:41 ice time. It’s about time RBA gave Foegele a proper shot at a top six role, along with Svechnikov, and ended his obsession with trying to squeeze offensive juice from Jordan Staal and Justin Williams. These are your guys Rod.

Services no longer required

Sadly November saw the end of Valentin Zykov‘s time with the Carolina Hurricanes, as he was waived to make way for the returning Haydn Fleury and was subsequently claimed by the Edmonton Oilers. Zykov never quite fit Rod Brind’Amour’s system, and even though the team could have sent down a waiver-ineligible player like Warren Foegele, Zykov was waived and will have a good shot at a top nine role on the Oilers, one his visa issues are sorted out. He was riding a CF% of 63.4% at the time he was waived, which would lead all Oilers players who have scored at least one point this season. Is it inconceivable that he gets some time on Connor McDavid‘s wing, once McDavid returns from injury?

We all wish you well Valentin.