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Hurricanes Prospects News and Updates

A debut, a silver medal and a loan are some of the biggest headlines from the past few weeks.

Ice Hockey - Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics Day 16 Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

I try and do a prospect update article once a month to catch everyone up on the biggest news and performances in the system. But in the past few weeks, we’ve had some exciting news in the Carolina Hurricanes organization that I felt the need to talk about. There’s a lot going on, and luckily for us, most of it is good news. First, let’s talk about Pyotr Kochetkov.

Pyotr Kochetkov

I’m going to keep this section short because Sarah Avampato already talked about Kochetkov’s debut with the Wolves in her latest article. I watched the game to see how Kochetkov would perform in a new league and was very happy with his debut. This was Kochetkov’s first game in over a month, he’s in a new league with a very different style of play and on top of all of that, he speaks very little English. It’s a difficult adjustment for him, so the early struggles were to be expected.

I was very impressed with how Kochetkov bounced back after the third goal against, too. He settled in and was clutch for Chicago from then on, making some tremendous stops along the way. Kochetkov should get another start this weekend when the Wolves take on the Manitoba Moose for a back to back on Saturday and Sunday. I’d expect Kochetkov to get the start on Saturday. He’ll have another week of practices under his belt and I would expect him to be more prepared for this start. Manitoba is a good team and it’ll be a great test for him.

Alexander Nikishin

Congratulations to Hurricanes prospect Alexander Nikishin on winning a silver medal with ROC at the Olympics. Russia couldn’t beat the Finnish team, who shut the Russians down at every opportunity in order to win gold. Nikishin was given more of a defensive role than he is used to seeing, and I believe that he played well in that role. He was blocking shots on the penalty kill and was a key part of a defense that only allowed ten goals in six games.

I have no idea what he’s saying in this video, but I’m sure it’s a message to the fans. I only know how to say “hello, my name is Matthew” and some more colorful words in Russian.

Dominik Bokk

On Wednesday morning, EliteProspects’ transfer account tweeted this.

First, I need to provide context. Bokk was a healthy scratch in both of Chicago’s games this past weekend and has been a more frequent scratch this season. He was receiving bottom six minutes and seemed to struggle at the AHL level this season. When I’ve watched Bokk in the past, I’ve noticed that he’s often guilty of trying to do too much and will turn the puck over. Last week, we interviewed Scott Wheeler, the NHL prospect writer for The Athletic, on the Tracking the Storm podcast and we asked him about Bokk. He mentioned that while Bokk is great with the puck on his stick, he can be frustrating to watch because of how he can’t utilize his teammates. He’s a player that relies on individual skill. A link to the full episode can be found here.

So, what does this mean for Bokk’s future? He is under contract until the end of the 2022-2023 season, meaning that there is one year remaining on his current contract. The way I see it, there are three possible options. First, this is a loan for the rest of the season. The Hurricanes move some forward prospects out at the deadline and more room is created in the lineup for Bokk, who then returns to Chicago next season. Second, Bokk is loaned out to Germany and traded to another team at the deadline. Third, Bokk’s contract with the Hurricanes is mutually terminated and he becomes a free agent. I think the last two options are the most likely ones. The Hurricanes wouldn’t loan Bokk out to Germany if they believed he could play in the AHL. If that were the case, he would be playing for the Wolves. He might be a trade chip for the Hurricanes, although I’m not sure which team would be willing to take a chance on him given how his professional career has gone. Given how Bokk has played since he was traded to the Hurricanes, I struggle to see him making it back to North America, much less the NHL.

I’d suggest reading this thread. Sarah, bless her, has watched all of Bokk’s games this season and gives reasons as to why Bokk didn’t work out in Ryan Warsofsky’s system. Watching Bokk is an exercise in patience and watching all of his games takes a level of patience that I, unfortunately, do not have.

Kirill Slepets

In “Canes Prospects you probably forgot about” news, Hurricanes 2019 fifth-round pick Kirill Slepets has signed with Karpat in the Finnish Liiga. Karpat is essentially the Hurricanes’ feeder team at this point. They’ve drafted Aho, Kuokkanen, Koivunen and Tieksola from their system and signed Maenalanen from Karpat at one point. Now, Slepets joins a team and will hopefully get some playing time. Early results haven’t been too promising, however. He has one assist in his first four games with the team and is now playing on the fourth line. I’ll admit that I haven’t watched Slepets too closely this year, so this will give me a better opportunity to watch him play. Still, it’s worth noting that he’s now playing for one of the top teams in Finland.

Joey Keane

Now, let’s talk about something good. Joey Keane has been fantastic for Chicago as of late and looks to be NHL ready. He’s moving the puck with confidence and playing some of the best defense of his career, much to my delight. I believe that Keane can contend for a roster spot next season if he isn’t included in a deal at the deadline. He plays the way the Hurricanes want their defensemen to play and his defensive game has improved tremendously over the course of the season. I thought that he looked confident in his lone NHL game of the season against Vancouver, too.

Goalies in Norfolk

First, Beck Warm has been loaned to Norfolk. He was called up to Chicago and broke his ankle in a morning skate, so he has been out for a little over a month due to injury. Warm was hit by the injury bug at the same time all of the other goalies in the Hurricanes’ system were, leading to Jack LaFontaine signing his entry-level contract halfway through his final year in college. Getting Warm back will be a big deal for the Admirals, who have been leaning heavily on Dylan Wells as of late. Warm gives them a second option in net now.

Finally, I want to send my thoughts and prayers to Maple Leafs prospect Rodion Amirov and his family. It’s a scary situation and I’m hoping for a speedy recovery.