Carolina Hurricanes: Top 5 Checkers Who Could Be Hurricanes Next Season

CLEVELAND, OH - APRIL 11: Charlotte Checkers goalie Alex Nedeljkovic (30) in goal during the second period of the American Hockey League game between the Charlotte Checkers and Cleveland Monsters on April 11, 2019, at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse in Cleveland, OH. (Photo by Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
CLEVELAND, OH - APRIL 11: Charlotte Checkers goalie Alex Nedeljkovic (30) in goal during the second period of the American Hockey League game between the Charlotte Checkers and Cleveland Monsters on April 11, 2019, at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse in Cleveland, OH. (Photo by Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) /
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LAVAL, QC, CANADA – DECEMBER 29: Aleksi Saarela #7 of the Charlotte Checkers skating up the ice against the Laval Rocket close behind at Place Bell on December 29, 2018 in Laval, Quebec. (Photo by Stephane Dube /Getty Images)
LAVAL, QC, CANADA – DECEMBER 29: Aleksi Saarela #7 of the Charlotte Checkers skating up the ice against the Laval Rocket close behind at Place Bell on December 29, 2018 in Laval, Quebec. (Photo by Stephane Dube /Getty Images) /

Aleksi Saarela

If you couldn’t tell by now, the Hurricanes have a plethora of talented young forwards chomping at the bit to make the roster this fall. Aleksi Saarela is no exception, and has a very good chance at making it.

Saarela is yet another Checker having a career year. The young center finished out the AHL regular season with 30 goals and 24 assists for a combined 54 points in 69 games played. Saarela has a rocket of a slapshot, and a laser of wristshot.

Paired with shutdown winger Jordan Martinook or Justin Williams, Saarela could see great success right off the bat as a third or fourth line center in the 2019-20 season. On top of his stellar offensive numbers, Saarela is as disciplined as they come. The young Finn only registered 12 PIM in the AHL this past season.

https://twitter.com/CheckersHockey/status/1066760437985918979

Saarela would also be a great compliment to budding forward Warren Foegele. Both of these forwards are young, fast, and heavy-hitting, and could build great chemistry as a tandem shutdown/scoring line. Look for Saarela to run with his inevitable look at the Hurricanes roster this September.