When I talk about the Carolina Hurricanes AHL affiliate being a Calder Cup Champion, your brain should immediately take you to the 2018-19 Charlotte Checkers, but once again, the Carolina Hurricanes AHL affiliate once again has captured silverware. Chicago won the Calder Cup in five games. For those that don’t remember, the Checkers did the exact same thing. Lost game one, and decided to win the next 4 in a row.
This was a team with a lot of the Hurricanes’ best prospects accompanying them. Someone that was vital to how well the Wolves performed was Jack Drury, and he’s almost solidified himself as an NHL player for next year. I think he has proven that there is nothing left for him to accomplish in the AHL. He was absolutely incredible for the Wolves this postseason, and it’s going to be good for him to get NHL time.
Chicago rattled through the Rockford Icehogs, the Milwaukee Admirals, the Stockton Heat, and of course the Springfield Thunderbirds to capture the pride of the AHL and return to the summit of the league as Calder Cup Champions. Only losing four games in their dominant march through the playoffs, the Wolves asserted their dominance on the rest of the AHL by being the best of the best in both the regular season and playoffs.
Carolina’s farm system has been one of the best in the NHL for a long time and that is openly acknowledged, but back-to-back Calder Cup Championships four years apart with different AHL affiliates is incredibly difficult. Yet, the Hurricanes have managed to do it with the Charlotte Checkers 4 years ago, and the Chicago Wolves this year. There’s a good system in place for developing talent.
It bodes well for the future of the organization at the NHL level. With a lot of players getting themselves great experience regarding winning and learning what it requires to win, it could be something that the Carolina Hurricanes can take into the future from their young players. Sustained AHL success is incredibly difficult, but it can give a lot of success to the prospects that are developing in the league.