It’s Carolina Hurricanes day over at Pro Hockey Talk and they’ve written quite a bit about one of the rising teams in the Eastern Conference. Adam Gretz reports that the Hurricanes offense goes as Jeff Skinner goes and that a roster chock full of “kids” will rely heavily on his guidance. Gretz writes that despite only being 24, Skinner is the second longest tenured ’Cane after goalie Cam Ward. Boasting two 30-goal seasons already, Gretz adds that Skinner is in elite company when it comes to goal scoring and shots stats, joining names like Sidney Crosby, Ilya Kovalchuk, Steven Stamkos, and Alex Ovechkin. Gretz cautions that he is not comparing Skinner in terms of ability–as it would be unfair–but he does indicate that Skinner has been “extremely productive” and should serve as the face of the franchise for years to come.
In other Hurricanes news:
- Gretz continues his Canes coverage, profiling up and coming prospect Sebastian Aho. The 2015 second round draft pick is one to watch, Gretz writes, due to his scoring prowess and the Carolina’s desperate need for offense. In the Finnish league, Gretz adds that Aho was a point-per-game player and was his team’s leading scorer–despite being 18. Though he can’t project Aho’s place on the team, Gretz does say that the opportunity is his to seize. Further, general manager Ron Francis was quoted as saying that Aho was, “certainly penciled into our lineup, if not in pen.” That’s certainly a good sign for Aho, and if his production continues, it’ll be a greater sign for Carolina.
- To wrap up the early Canes coverage, Mike Halford wrote that Carolina is poised to take the next step as a team and make the playoffs. Halford points to the hiring of Bill Peters as a catalyst for the Hurricanes quick rise with young talent. Add in Francis’ work to build a young, talented lineup and Carolina certainly looks like a threat in the East. As reported earlier, Halford and other writers believe the true X-factor will be the performance of their goaltending duo, Cam Ward, and Eddie Lack.