Haydn has taken strides during each of his three professional seasons in our organization. We’ve been encouraged by his development and our hope is that he becomes a fixture in our lineup.
Fleury, 23, may finally get an opportunity to see some more ice time in Carolina, after spending much of last season shuffling between the NHL and AHL. Selected seventh overall in 2014, Fleury played just 20 games for the Hurricanes last season and averaged just 12:32 in those contests. With Noah Hanifin and Calvin de Haan traded to the Calgary Flames and Chicago Blackhawks respectively though, there may finally be an opening on the left side of the team’s top-four.
There’s no doubt that Jaccob Slavin will take on the bulk of the minutes on that side, and there is always the possibility that one of the team’s talented right-handed options moves over. Still, this may be Fleury’s best chance to really establish himself as a core piece of the Carolina blue line as they attempt to get back to the playoffs and compete for the Stanley Cup. Gustav Forsling came over from the Blackhawks in the de Haan trade, and Jake Bean is pushing hard to be considered an NHL option, but Fleury should have the inside track at training camp thanks to his familiarity with the team.
It’s important to note that Fleury did suit up nine times in the Hurricanes’ recent playoff run and then returned to the Charlotte Checkers to help them win a Calder Cup. The young defenseman has all the tools to be an effective NHL player and now just needs the opportunity. For the low cost of $850K, both sides are hoping he can take that next step. He will be a restricted free agent still next summer.
Forsling meanwhile has also signed a one-year, two-way contract with the Hurricanes at his qualifying offer salary of $874,125 in the NHL. The 23-year old has actually now played 122 games in the NHL, all with the Blackhawks over the last three seasons. He has 27 points during those games and showed himself to be at very least a bottom-pairing option in the NHL moving forward. Whether he gets those minutes right away in Carolina is still to be seen, but he gives the team another young player to build their blue line around.