What will the Carolina Hurricanes do with Ondrej Kase when he is finally healthy? Since coming to Raleigh, he has played one game posting zeros across the board over 11 minutes of play and 20 shifts against the Columbus Blue Jackets on October 12th. In case you cannot remember October, that was the very first game of the season.
Originally drafted by the Anaheim Duck during the 2014 in the 7th round, Kase broke into the league with Anaheim in 2016-17 playing 53 games and racked up 15 points over 77 shifts in his rookie season. In four seasons with the Ducks, he averaged 113 shifts, and scored 33 goals with 43 assists.
After that, he seems to have dropped of the face of the earth.
In two injury plagued season with Boston, Kase was limited to 9 games and one point. Kase seemed to have to what looked like a rebirth with the Toranto Maple Leafs in the 2021-22 season. In every aspect his numbers rebounded to look more like his rookie season.
Over 119 shifts Kase scored 14 goals and had 13 shifts for the Leafs. The 21-22 season was also the first positive season in four but only his second of his career.
The Carolina Hurricanes signed Kase as a free-agent to one-year, $1.5 million contract on July 13, 2022.
More than likely, Kase would have been a contributing member as, at the very least, an off the bench player to fill in gaps for starters. Where, and how Ondrej Kase would have fit now is left unknown.
During the Columbus game, Kase left the game under concussion protocol, and has not been on the ice in a Canes jersey of any kind since.
No player should ever lose their spot due to an injury. However, there does not seem to be a spot for Ondrej Kase as the roster stands.
Carolina is coming off an 11 game winning streak and 17 game point streak. Multiple players have stepped up into key rolls to put the Canes in playoff contention.
Where does a healthy Kase fit in the equation? Who sits to get him time should he pop back in the mix? Is he better than who is currently on the ice in Raleigh?
Rod Brind’Amour is not afraid to mix up line assignments. It is very possible a healthy Ondrei Kase has a place on some mystical line pair Rod has is mind.
Still, his status on the long-term injured reserve begs the serious question; what will the Hurricanes do with Ondrej Kase when he returns?