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Competition Wide Open At Forward

Hurricanes and Checkers could be thin on the front line

The Carolina Hurricanes need Zach Boychuk to step up this coming season
The Carolina Hurricanes need Zach Boychuk to step up this coming season
James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

The top prospects of the Carolina Hurricanes are in town and while it's early, it is also only natural to start thinking about the coming season and what the roster might look like on opening night.

The Hurricanes have signed seven NHL defenseman, so seem pretty much set at the blue line.  Justin Faulk, Andrej Sekera, Jay Harrison, John-Michael Liles, Ryan Murphy, Tim Gleason, and Ron Hainsey have a major leg up on any young competition attempting to break into the defensive ranks.

But what about the forwards?  The competition is wide open here.

The Canes will need 12 forwards and most likely will keep an extra as they approach opening night.  Below, I list most of the top forwards in the organization.

1 Eric Staal
2 Alexander Semin
3 Jordan Staal
4 Jeff Skinner
5 Jiri Tlusty
6 Elias Lindholm
7 Riley Nash
8 Nathan Gerbe
9 Patrick Dwyer
10 Jay McClement
11 Brad Malone
12 Zach Boychuk
13 Chris Terry
Brock McGinn
Victor Rask
Phillip Di Giuseppe
Brendan Woods
Patrick Brown

There is not a lot of NHL experience in those bottom three spots, (11,12,13), which means those spots are ready for the taking and available for whomever works the hardest.  If Victor Rask and Brock McGinn are hot in training camp and the preseason, and Chris Terry and Zach Boychuk are not, the order in that listing will change up quickly.

Paul Branecky of the Charlotte Checkers wrote an interesting article yesterday, looking at the possible future roster in Charlotte and after reading it, I couldn't help but wonder where the Checkers scoring will come from.

Check that out here:  Checkers' Roster

If Boychuk and Terry, the club's leading scorers from last season both make the Hurricanes, the goals could be hard to come by, although McGinn might have something to say about that.  Still, there will be several new faces on the Checkers and it will be interesting to see how that team is put together and how they perform.

Someone like McGinn, who had a break out year in juniors last season, (43G 42A in 58 games), has an excellent chance to make the team.  Chip Alexander wrote an article concerning that the other day.

Prospects Start Development Camp.

Chip also has another article here about Haydn Fleury and his chances of making the NHL at age 18.  The N&O beat reporter spoke to Ron Francis again and found out that the GM was still talking to Chad LaRose's agent. (Reported on twitter).   It would not shock me to see number 59 invited to camp on a try out.

In other news and links:

Eric Staal is making no excuses as he works out hard in preparation for next season.  "No Excuses"

The PNC Arena will be the only rink in the NHL to use LED lighting.  "PNC goes LED"

NBCSN will televise three Hurricanes games next season.  "NBCSN releases schedule"

NBC Sports reported that Alexander Semin is expected to be healed and ready for training camp.  "Semin will be ready"

Finally, the Hurricanes came to terms with AHL defenseman Rasmus Rissanen yesterday.  The team's release follows:



Defenseman completed third full professional season in 2013-14

RALEIGH, NC – Ron Francis, Executive Vice President and General Manager of the National Hockey League’s Carolina Hurricanes, today announced that the team has agreed to terms with defenseman Rasmus Rissanen on a one-year, two-way contract. The deal will pay Rissanen $575,000 at the NHL level, or $90,000 at the American Hockey League level for the 2014-15 season.

Rissanen, 23, completed his third full season with the Hurricanes’ AHL affiliate Charlotte Checkers in 2013-14, scoring three goals and earning seven assists (10 points) in 62 games. The Kuopio, Finland, native’s 10 points last season marked a career high, and his 91 penalty minutes ranked third among Checkers skaters. Rissanen (6’3", 217 lbs.) has scored six goals, earned 19 assists (25 points) and accumulated 232 penalty minutes in 188 career AHL regular-season games with Charlotte since turning professional at the end of the 2010-11 season. Carolina drafted Rissanen in the sixth round, 178th overall, in the 2009 NHL Draft.