While the Hurricanes drafted Sebastian Aho as a natural center back in 2015 (35th overall), they plan to keep him on the wing for the full year once again, head coach Bill Peters told Chip Alexander of the News & Observer. The idea behind doing so is to allow him to ease into the North American game at a slower pace and keep expectations in check which will be more beneficial for his development. The 20-year-old is coming off of a strong rookie season that saw him post 49 points (24-25-49) in 82 games. Carolina has been searching for a legitimate top line center for a few years now and Aho could be that player but they’ll be waiting at least another year to find that out.
Elsewhere in the Metropolitan:
- Penguins winger Patric Hornqvist has yet to practice or play in the preseason as he recovers from offseason surgery on his broken hand but the team is hopeful that he will be able to suit up in the season opener on Wednesday, notes Jonathan Bombulie of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Hornqvist will be heading into the year looking to surpass the 20-goal mark for the fifth straight year which would certainly help his case heading into unrestricted free agency.
- With the Flyers still carrying 15 forwards in training camp, at least one more needs to be cut before the season-opening roster deadline on October 3rd. Dave Isaac of the Courier-Post speculates that winger Matt Read could be the odd man out with youngsters Taylor Leier and Oskar Lindblom both making strong cases to stick with the team. Read is in the final year of his contract with a $3.625MM cap hit so if he were to be cut and clear waivers, Philadelphia would still be carrying a $2.6MM cap charge on the books even with him in the minors.
- Although the Rangers can recall recently-cut center Lias Andersson from his SHL team in Frolunda if need be during the season, they don’t intend to do so, reports Brett Cyrgalis of the New York GM Jeff Gorton noted their preference is for Andersson to receive consistent top-six minutes which is something that he could receive in Sweden but not in New York this season. Unlike a junior-aged player in the CHL, the Rangers don’t have to be in an emergency recall situation before they could bring Andersson back across the pond.