Prospect Corner is our regular look at the Carolina Hurricanes of the future, checking in on prospects in juniors, college and in Europe.
Canes WHL prospects making waves
Each prospect group is different, and after having the majority of their pipeline playing in eastern Canada in the OHL and QMJHL over the past few years, the emphasis has shifted west to the WHL. If you have the ability to do so, on any given night you can likely see a Canes prospect in action in the Western League, with five players sprinkled across five teams.
Forwards Hudson Elynuik, Stelio Mattheos and Morgan Geekie all find themselves in the WHL’s Top 50 scorers with Elynuik leading the way in 14th with 11 goals and 16 assists. Jake Bean ranks among the league’s top 20 blueliners in scoring despite playing the least amount of games of the group, and Brendan De Jong is continuing on a similar pace to a season ago when he posted 23 points in 72 games.
Cotton, Boston College’s slow start turning around
A season ago, David Cotton was one of just five Boston College Eagles with double digit goals. He did so as a freshman, in an impressive NCAA debut season from the former sixth rounder. This year, the goals haven’t been going in, but it seems to be a team-wide epidemic rather than a personal one. After averaging 3.3 goals-per-game a season ago, BC has struggled to score early this season, with just 28 goals in their first 12 games (2.33 G/PG).
As a team, the Eagles are shooting just 7.5% in 2017-18, although with the shift to conference play that number has improved recently to nearly 9%. This past weekend, the team scored nine times in a two-game sweep of Vermont, so there is some indication that BC may be pulling out of their goal scoring slump. As they continue to improve, don’t be surprised to see Cotton return to his clutch goal scoring ways from his freshman campaign.
Jack Lafontaine, starter?
For the last two seasons, Jack LaFontaine has split time in the Michigan crease. The sophomore played in just 11 games as a freshman, and to start this season had been sharing a game-per-series with fellow second year netminder Hayden Lavigne. However, that changed this weekend.
In a pivotal two-game tilt with the seventh-ranked Minnesota Golden Gophers, LaFontaine started both contests, albeit with mixed results. On Friday, the Canes third rounder from 2016 got the win in a 5-4 OT victory, making 27 saves on 31 shots which brought his record to 4-1 on the season. Saturday did not go nearly as well, as LaFontaine was lifted after the first period giving up three goals on nine shots. The #17-ranked Wolverines are at Wisconsin this weekend, so it will be interesting to see if he continues to get the majority of the playing time or if head coach Mel Pearson goes back to his goaltending timeshare moving forward.
Kometa Brno makes Champions League Quarterfinals
After winning 5-2 in Zug, Kometa Brno has advanced to the quarterfinals of the Champions League in Europe, and the event could provide Martin Necas valuable experience over the next month. The quarterfinal games are set to begin on December 5th, with the return leg a week later. Necas has not played in a CL game yet, but does have three points in three games in Czech league play. Fellow 2017 draftee Eetu Luostarinen’s club KalPa lost out in the group stage, with the second rounder posting three points in six games.
Canes Prospects: Skaters
|David Cotton||C||Boston College (NCAA)||34||9||18||80||0.79||20|
|Hudson Elynuik||C||Spokane (WHL)||64||27||51||206||1.22||74|
|Matt Filipe||LW||Northeastern (NCAA)||29||5||8||65||0.45||31|
|Morgan Geekie||C||Tri-City (WHL)||60||25||45||215||1.17||32|
|Eetu Luostarinen||C||KalPa (Finland)||53||5||14||n/a||0.36||56|
|Stelio Mattheos||RW||Brandon (WHL)||62||40||43||202||1.34||68|
|Martin Necas||C||HC Kometa Brno (Czech)||24||9||8||n/a||0.71||6|
|Luke Stevens||LW||Yale (NCAA)||30||6||5||68||0.37||12|
|Max Zimmer||LW||Wisconsin (NCAA)||25||3||4||30||0.28||0|
|Jake Bean||D||Tri-City (WHL)||49||9||31||155||0.82||18|
|Noah Carroll||D||Sault Ste. Marie (OHL)||59||6||28||86||0.58||67|
|Brendan De Jong||D||Portland (WHL)||62||4||18||114||0.35||40|
|Luke Martin||D||Michigan (NCAA)||36||1||7||37||0.22||20|
|Ville Rasanen||D||Jokerit U20 (Finland)||28||0||6||n/a||0.21||14|
Canes Prospects: Goalies
|Jeremy Helvig||G||Kingston (OHL)||51||2.55||0.920||129||1475|
|Jack LaFontaine||G||Michigan (NCAA)||11||3.51||0.889||31||279|
|Eetu Makiniemi||G||Jokerit U20 (Finland)||35||3.03||0.916||n/a||n/a|