The Carolina Hurricanes are battered and bruised from their first round series against the Washington Capitals, so are bringing up some extra help. The team has recalled forward Aleksi Saarela from the Charlotte Checkers, while sending defenseman Jake Bean back down. Saarela is up under emergency conditions, since the Checkers are still in the AHL playoff picture.
Saarela, 22, has never actually suited up in the NHL but is a dominant performer for the Checkers. He led the team with 30 goals this season through 69 games and is almost always among the best handful of players on the ice. Originally selected by the New York Rangers in the third round of the 2015 draft, he came to the Hurricanes organization in the infamous Eric Staal trade at the 2016 deadline.
The young forward has progressed nicely through the first few years of his North American career, and now might get a chance to show what he can do at the NHL level if the Hurricanes continue to get banged up. Andrei Svechnikov and Micheal Ferland were already dealing with injuries when Jordan Martinook didn’t return to the bench in the second period of last night’s game.