Although Clark Bishop has played just 5 games with the Hurricanes this season, he was a pretty important piece for them at times last season so I figured I would include him on this list for a little extra content.
Personally, I kind of believe that Bishop is what he is at this point. He’ll be 24 on Sunday, and he’s never managed to take the “next step” offensively at any level he’s played at. He does have use as a utility forward however.
As Canes fans witnessed last season, Bishop has great speed and has been a positive possession player at the NHL level. Unfortunately, the results haven’t exactly matched up. The Canes have been outscored 15-9 across 25 games with Clark Bishop on the ice at even-strength, despite him starting over 60% of his shifts in the offensive zone.
Bishop also hasn’t really featured on special teams at all for the Canes, which makes his outlook bleak. He’s yet to carve out a permanent role at the NHL level, he’s about to turn 24, and is in a loaded group of Canes prospects.
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For Bishop, you have to think his best (and last) chance to make the Canes roster full-time will be this coming fall. But the Hurricanes anticipate to have all of Sebastian Aho, Vincent Trocheck, Jordan Staal and Jordan Martinook returning at center, and with Martin Necas always a possibility to play in the middle, it’s hard to envision Bishop emerging from that group.
To even get the chance to compete for a spot, Bishop will need a contract. I do believe he’ll get a one-year deal, because he’s an important player for Charlotte – but it’s possible Bishop will try to seek an NHL role elsewhere, and the Canes may be forced to look at trade options, or choose to not extend a qualifying offer to Bishop.
My current guess is that we’ll see Bishop re-signed, but will likely make more of an impact for Charlotte than he will for the Carolina Hurricanes. He’s a valuable guy to have in an AHL locker room, but he doesn’t quite move the needle at the NHL level; although he’s definitely capable of stepping in when injury strikes.
Verdict: Re-sign (two-way deal)
Question for CC Readers: Which of these 3 guys should be re-signed?