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Carolina Hurricanes announce roster for Traverse City Prospect Tournament

Ten returning players and 13 first-timers fill out the roster as the Canes look to improve on last year’s third-place finish.

Jamie Kellner

The Carolina Hurricanes on Wednesday announced the roster for the 2018 Traverse City Prospect Tournament, hosted by the Detroit Red Wings and beginning Friday, September 7. Twenty-three players will represent the Hurricanes at this year’s tournament, including nine that participated last year when the Canes finished third in the tournament. A tenth player, Aleksi Saarela, participated in 2016 but was injured and missed last year’s event.

Among the returning players, Nicolas Roy is participating in his fourth tournament. Jake Bean, Julien Gauthier, Janne Kuokkanen and Jeremy Helvig will make their third appearances, and Saarela, Morgan Geekie, Brendan De Jong, Stelio Mattheos and Martin Necas will participate for the second time.

Players that will participate in this season’s tournament are drawn from Canadian major junior hockey and overseas leagues, plus a few who spent last season in professional hockey. Since the school year will have begun at the time of the tournament, players who are playing college hockey will not participate, including Jack Drury, David Cotton, Jack LaFontaine, Adam Fox and Luke Martin. Three invitees from the Hurricanes’ prospect development camp, goaltender Mario Culina and defensemen Theo Calvas and Mitch Eliot, will take part in the tournament.

The Hurricanes will again be coached by Charlotte Checkers coach Mike Vellucci, who was behind the bench last season. Carolina has had good results the past two years at the Traverse City tournament, capturing the championship in 2016 and finishing third last season. The tournament is played in a round-robin format, with two four-team divisions competing over four days and a final round of games determining the finishing positions for the tournament. The Canes’ first game is Friday, September 7, against the St. Louis Blues at 3:30 p.m.

The roster and release from the team is below.

Carolina Hurricanes 2018 Traverse City Roster

Number Player Position Acquired 17-18 Team League
Number Player Position Acquired 17-18 Team League
15 Saarela, Aleksi C Trade w/ NYR (2/16) Charlotte AHL
21 Gauthier, Julien RW Draft ‘16 (2-21-1) Charlotte AHL
24 Bean, Jake D Draft ‘16 (1-13-1) Calgary/Tri-City WHL
26 Fora, Michael D Free Agent (6/18) Ambri Swiss
37 Svechnikov, Andrei RW Draft ‘18 (1-2-1) Barrie OHL
45 Geekie, Morgan C Draft ‘17 (4-67-3) Tri-City WHL
50 Helvig, Jeremy G Draft ‘16 (8-134-5) Kingston OHL
51 Mattheos, Stelio RW Draft ‘17 (6-73-3) Brandon WHL
52 Henman, Luke C Draft ‘18 (3-96-4) Blainville-Boisbriand QMJHL
58 Roy, Nicolas C Draft ‘15 (4-96-4) Charlotte AHL
59 Kuokkanen, Janne LW/C Draft ‘16 (3-43-2) Charlotte/Carolina AHL/NHL
61 Pu, Cliff RW Trade w/ BUF (8/18) London/Kingston OHL
62 De Jong, Brendan D Draft ‘17 (7-166-6) Portland WHL
68 Bruce, Riley D Invitee North Bay OHL
78 Calvas, Theo D Invitee Sarnia OHL
81 Levin, David C Invitee Sudbury OHL
82 Eliot, Mitch D Invitee Michigan State/Sarnia Big 10/OHL
84 Grondin, Max C Invitee Saginaw OHL
85 Schlichting, Connor D Invitee Sarnia OHL
87 Struthers, Matthew C Invitee Owen Sound/North Bay OHL
88 Necas, Martin C Draft ‘17 (1-12-1) Brno/Carolina Czech/NHL
89 Ralph, Cedric C Invitee Guelph OHL
90 Culina, Mario G Invitee Sudbury/Kitchener OHL


Team features first-round picks Svechnikov, Necas, Bean and Gauthier

Don Waddell, President and General Manager of the National Hockey League’s Carolina Hurricanes, today announced the team’s roster for the 2018 NHL Prospect Tournament in Traverse City, MI. The tournament is hosted annually by the Detroit Red Wings and will take place Sept. 7-11.

The Hurricanes’ squad for the 2018 tournament includes 11 players drafted by Carolina, including first-round draft picks Andrei Svechnikov (2018 – 2nd overall), Martin Necas (2017 – 12th overall), Jake Bean (2016 – 13th overall) and Julien Gauthier (2016 – 21st overall). Several Hurricanes prospects acquired via trade or free agency will also wear Hurricanes red at the tournament, including Buffalo Sabres selection Cliff Pu, New York Rangers pick Aleksi Saarela and free-agent signee Michael Fora.

Mike Vellucci, Hurricanes assistant general manager and head coach of the American Hockey League’s 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. 7, at 3:30 p.m., against the St. Louis Blues. Carolina will then take on Chicago at 3 p.m. on Sept. 8, before finishing round-robin play against Columbus on Sept. 10, at 7 p.m. Once the eight teams have finished round-robin play in two groups, each team will play a final game on Tuesday, Sept. 11, to determine final tournament ranking. All games will take place at Centre Ice Arena, the training camp home of the Red Wings.