The Matthew Wuest Memorial Cup Champion Carolina Hurricanes are headed back up to Traverse City, MI to defend their title with a team similar to, and probably even better than, their title-winning squad from last year. The Canes will play in the Gordie Howe division with the Chicago Blackhawks, host Detroit Red Wings, and New York Rangers during the five-day tournament from September 8-12.
The team features 17 Carolina draft picks out of the 23 total players, including four from the 2017 NHL Draft in Martin Necas, Morgan Geekie, Stelio Mattheos, and Brendan De Jong. Necas, Jake Bean, Julien Gauthier, and Haydn Fleury will represent four of the team’s most recent first-round picks. Fleury, along with Roland McKeown and Andrew Poturalski, featured for the Charlotte Checkers last season, and will again have the chance to make a mark on Canes brass in the unique environment of a prospect tournament.
Also joining the team are camp invitees Nick Schilkey, Mac Hollowell, Adam Thilander, and Luke Boka. Goaltender Alex Nedeljkovic will not be part of this year’s team, instead giving way to Callum Booth and Jeremy Helvig. Checkers Head Coach and Hurricanes Assistant GM Mike Vellucci will man the bench.
The full roster and release from the team follow below.
Canes Announce Prospect Tournament Roster
RALEIGH, NC - Ron Francis, Executive Vice President and General Manager of the National Hockey League's Carolina Hurricanes, today announced the team's roster for the 2017 NHL Prospects Tournament in Traverse City, MI. The tournament is hosted annually by the Detroit Red Wings and will take place Sept. 8-12.
The Hurricanes' squad for the 2017 tournament includes 17 players drafted by Carolina, including first-round draft picks Haydn Fleury (2014 - 7th overall), Jake Bean (2016 - 13th overall), Julien Gauthier (2016 - 21st overall) and Martin Necas (2017 - 12th overall) and second-round pick Janne Kuokkanen (2016 - 43rd overall). In addition to Necas, several members of Carolina's 2017 NHL Draft class will be making their debuts in a Hurricanes sweater at the tournament, including Morgan Geekie (third round, 67th overall), Stelio Mattheos (third round, 73rd overall) and Brendan De Jong (sixth round, 166th overall).
Mike Vellucci, head coach of Carolina's American Hockey League (AHL) affiliate, the Charlotte Checkers, will serve as head coach for the Hurricanes' team. All of the teams in tournament will be comprised of drafted players and signees, as well as amateur tryout invitees. A limited number of players with prior professional experience - in no case more than one full season - are eligible to compete.
The Hurricanes will open tournament play on Friday, Sept. 8, at 7:30 p.m., against the Red Wings. Carolina will then take on the NY Rangers at 3:30 p.m. on Sept. 9, before finishing round-robin play against Chicago on Sept. 11, at 6:30 p.m. Once the eight teams have finished round-robin play in two groups, each team will play a final game on Tuesday, Sept. 12, to determine final tournament ranking. All games will take place at Centre Ice Arena, the training camp home of the Red Wings. Click here for more information on the 2017 NHL Prospects Tournament.