The NHL may be on hiatus but the clock still ticks for these five prospects looking to get signed by the Carolina Hurricanes.
The Carolina Hurricanes already signed two NCAA players during the hiatus giving us some actual news to tell yall for once, but Don Waddell’s job isn’t over for the summer, even if the season doesn’t return until fall. He still has five players drafted by the team in earlier years to decide if they will become Carolina Hurricanes in the future. Or at least Charlotte Checkers.
Of the five, four are other NCAA players and weirdly enough, three are named Luke. That’s not a joke, 60% of Canes prospects that need to be signed by the summer or will become free agents are named Luke.
So which of these Lukes will get an entry-level contract and which will have to hit the free market in search of a team to sign them? Let’s find out.
Luke number one and the only name on this list not in the NCAA. Instead, Henman has been playing in the QMJHL for the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada. Say that ten times very quickly.
Henman has been an absolute force for the Armada since being drafted in the fourth round by the Carolina Hurricanes back in 2018. He was a consistent player for the team until this season where he, possibly knowing that he is up for signing in the summer, turned on the jets and put in a complete season of work with 25 goals and 74 points.
Not bad for a 19-year-old center looking to make a splash. If signed expect Henman to show up in Charlotte where he will help rebuild a team ravaged by injuries and trades. The only question is if he wants to test the market as a free agent or get a guaranteed contract with the Carolina Hurricanes.
Chance to be signed by July 1st Deadline: 60%
Matt Filipe was a third-rounder drafted back in 2016. A big tall forward, with some decent speed and good hockey IQ. Playing his final year at Northeastern University, Matt will need to find a professional Hockey team to sign him if he wants to continue his career.
His numbers are okay at the surface. This year, in a shortened season he put up his best stats with 9 goals and 22 points. That is his career-high NCAA statistics for the season, and while that may not seem like much on the surface, the Carolina Hurricanes seem to like what they see from him:
We already know that David Cotton was signed just two weeks ago and that the team wanted him so badly, they also agreed to sign his older brother. The fact that Matt Filipe is in the same conversation should be a good sign that Waddell is considering signing the 22-year-old forward.
Chance to be signed by August 15th Deadline: 75%
Luke number two is playing for the University of Michigan. Martin, a second-round draft pick back in 2017, is an excellent stay at home defender. While he only has a single goal and nine whole points in the 36 games played in the shortened NCAA season, he remains at a +10 rating.
While this sounds like an easy choice to develop the 21-year-old in Charlotte, Luke wants a quicker route to the NHL than the backlogged Carolina Hurricanes defense:
Perhaps the St.Louis Native wants to play for his hometown Blues? Or perhaps he is holding out for an organization that is worse off on defense where he believes he can quickly come in and build an NHL career. Either way, it doesn’t look like the Carolina Hurricanes should expect him to agree to sign
Chance to be signed by August 15th Deadline: 15%
Every once in a while you come across a name that is just way too fun to say. Max Zimmer is one of them. The 22-year-old winger was drafted in the fourth round back in 2016 and has played four full years for the University of Wisconson Badgers.
While his numbers weren’t that great, setting a career-high eight goals this season and never getting more than 18 points in a single season, he took a step to show his commitment to the Carolina Hurricanes organization.
After signing the ATO to play in Charlotte, he got in a single game which saw him left off the scoresheet before the AHL season came to a close because of the virus. But the fact that the Checkers saw enough in him to sign him, even to an ATO, should be enough to warrant an ELC from the big club.
Chance to be signed by August 15th Deadline: 85%
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The final player on this list and the final Luke. Stevens was a fifth-round pick in 2015 and has since played four years for Yale. Mark him down as very smart. His father, Kevin Stevens, was a long-time Pittsburgh Penguin having played with Mario Lemieux in the 90s.
However, unlike his father, he hasn’t been putting up great numbers and has fallen off the radar for the Carolina Hurricanes.
In his four years with Yale, the 23-year-old winger hasn’t produced much. This season saw him get career-high goals and points at seven and twelve respectively. Not exactly enough to buy your ticket to an NHL team.
Chance to be signed by August 15th Deadline: 25%
In the end, the organization will have to pick and choose who they will sign and who they won’t. There won’t be enough money for them all, especially considering the amount of revenue lost during the hiatus. That said, it would be good to refill the cupboards down in Charlotte with some more prospect depth.