Of the twelve invites, three are returning from development camp earlier this summer. Defenseman Noel Hoefenmayer, a former Coyotes draft pick, undrafted forward Kameron Kielly and undrafted goaltender Samuel Harvey seem to have done enough to warrant another look from the organization.
Should they perform well, it is possible that we’ll see Hoefenmayer and/or Kielly sign deals with the organization, similar to what we saw with Nick Schilkey a few years ago, earning an AHL deal with the Charlotte Checkers based on his performance durning the rookie camp and tournament. If they were to get contracts, they’ll both most likely play in Charlotte next season.
Harvey is an intriguing prospect. The two time QMJHL champion played last season with the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies, backstopping them en route to a CHL Memorial Cup Championship. The 21 year old net minder went 35-8-0 in 43 games played posting a goals against average of 2.08 with a save percentage of .926, numbers that resulted in him being named a QMJHL first team all star. Reportedly committed to the University of New Brunswick next season, it will be interesting to see how he performs in net next week.
Leif Mattson, Ethan Crossman, Martin Lang, Nolan Hutcheson, and Kyle Topping round out the team’s forward invites. With Kaleb Bulych, Thomas Pelletier, Merrick Rippon and David Maier the remaining invited D-man. This is an approach that we really haven’t seen in the past, with a majority of the team’s sent to Traverse City comprised of players the Carolina Hurricanes drafted themselves.
With Leif Mattson, Ryan Suzuki, Nolan Hutchenson, Blake Murray and Kyle Topping all 20+ goal scorers in Junior last season offense hopefully shouldn’t be too hard to come by. In any short tournament it is important for teams to come together quickly if they want to have any sort of success. It will be interesting to see if this team will create any kind of chemistry having hardly any familiarity with one another previously.
At the end of the day, these types of prospect showcases allow organizations to get a read on how their young players stack up with those of other franchises. In joining this new rotating host tournament, fans in Raleigh will get a chance to see firsthand some of the team’s promising young players when the Canes host the event.
As for the prospects themselves, this is an opportunity for players under contract to get up to game speed before all eyes are on them in NHL camp. For undrafted/invited players they get a chance to show that they have what it takes to make it to the next level, possibly earning a deal while providing them outlet to improve their draft stock for next season, should they be eligible.
The Canes kick off their tournament schedule Saturday the 7th at 2 pm EST against Washington. They’ll then play the following day, Sunday the 8th, at 5pm EST against Tampa Bay. They will conclude their three game schedule Tuesday the 10th at 2pm EST versus the host Nashville.
Of the invites, who are you most looking forward to see play for the Canes in the 2019 Prospect Showcase?