Carolina Hurricanes: Top Six Forwards in Free Agency

Nino Niederreiter #21, Carolina Hurricanes (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Nino Niederreiter #21, Carolina Hurricanes (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /
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Mikael Granlund(Photo by Rocky W. Widner/NHL/Getty Images)
Mikael Granlund(Photo by Rocky W. Widner/NHL/Getty Images) /

Notable exceptions

Now, I’ve missed some names off this list. That is not due to them not being fit for the Hurricanes should they be the choice of the Hurricanes to target. It’s just because they’re not as big in terms of upside as the three I have mentioned already.

Someone like Mikael Granlund or Craig Smith would both be great additions. Nashville has some cap issues and it’s going to force one or both onto the open market. Smith is a great middle-six winger, also a right-hand shot that the Hurricanes do not have a lot of. Granlund is a top 6 player and he’s Finnish, so he’d fit the mantra with the Hurricanes and their team Suomi impression.

Other options include former Atlanta Thrasher legend Ilya Kovalchuk who could be a great fit for the Hurricanes. His hands have not changed since he was a Thrasher, despite now needing a zimmer-frame to get around the ice. His shot is still heavy, dangerous, and deadly. He would again be a perfect fit to play on one of the depth lines to add a secondary or tertiary scoring threat.

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Former Columbus Blue Jacket, Pittsburgh Penguin, New York Ranger and New York Islander Derick Brassard could continue his tour of the Metropolitan division. Not quite what he used to be, Brassard could still slot into the middle six and provide some scoring when playing with some of the great passers that just don’t have that killer shot to convert their chances into goals.

This isn’t a great class for free agent forwards, and it’s still likely that some of the players I have mentioned get extensions from their current teams. At the time of writing this, they are all pending unrestricted free agents. This class is much deeper for goalies, with 3 major starting goaltenders projected to hit the open market at this point.

As for the forwards I haven’t mentioned, I’ve either forgotten them, or I don’t think they would make enough of an impact to get into the top 6. This does not mean they are bad players, this just means that their role isn’t going to land them in the top 6 forwards in Carolina.

Question for Cardiac Cane readers: Which forwards do you want to see the Hurricanes go after in free agency?

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