With the 2019 NHL Prospects Showcase in Nashville just a week away what does the Carolina Hurricanes roster look like heading into their first appearance in the tournament?
After years of playing in an eight team rookie tournament in Traverse City Michigan, the Carolina Hurricanes have joined the Nashville Predators, Washington Capitals and Tampa Bay Lightning in a smaller, four team tournament that will rotate host cities each year. Running September 7th through the 10th in Nashville, the Hurricanes’ roster consists of a mixture of draft picks, invites and free agent signings.
Of the 22 players named to the roster, eight have been drafted by the Carolina Hurricanes in the drafts ranging from 2016-2019; two are free agent signings, and the remaining twelve are invites. Drafted back in 2016, Jeremy Helvig and Janne Kuokkanen are two of the more experienced players heading to Nashville.
With some NHL experience, we should see a motivated Kuokkanen, as he looks to reestablish himself as a top prospect following an injury shortened season. With over 100 AHL games played, the 21 year old should be among the tournament top point getters. Meanwhile Helvig, after playing a full professional season, should provide the team with a calming presence in net during the condensed tournament.
Both froward Eetu Luostarinen, from the 2017 draft, and defenseman Jesper Sellgren, from the 2018 draft, will look to impress the front office as they both hope to be fighting for an NHL roster spot once training camp opens up on the 12th. These two players could either potentially play in the AHL with the Checkers or opt to return to Europe, should they fail to make the Hurricanes opening night roster.
Only three of the Carolina Hurricanes’ twelve draft picks from 2019 will be attending the tournament. Among them are first rounder Ryan Suzuki, second rounder Jamieson Rees and sixth rounder Blake Murray. This will mark the first time that we’ll see the trio dawn the Hurricanes crest during real game action. 2018 fourth rounder, Luke Henman, rounds out the Hurricanes’ drafted players.
Newly signed defenseman Chase Priskie is the only other D-man under contract (Jesper Sellgren the other), with five invites rounding out the defensive unit. This prospect showcase will allow fans to get their first look at Priskie before he comes to Raleigh following the tournament’s conclusion. Forward Jacob Pritchard is the other free agent signing that will be representing the Canes in Nashville next weekend.