Carolina Hurricanes head coach Rod Brind’Amour confirmed to reporters today including Chip Alexander of the Raleigh News & Observer that Seth Jarvis will play tonight, meaning he will burn the first year of his entry-level contract this season.
Jarvis, as we examined yesterday, is one of a handful of junior-aged players to get a chance at the NHL level this year. Unlike some of the other young forwards who played in the AHL last season though, Jarvis isn’t eligible to go to the minor leagues because he suited up for just nine games. Had he crossed the 20-game threshold like some of his OHL counterparts, he wouldn’t need to return to the WHL at all.
But the WHL–specifically the Portland Winterhawks–is the only other place for Jarvis to go, if the NHL wasn’t going to keep him around. Given how well he played in the AHL during that nine-game stop, and the fact that he has four goals and five points in nine NHL games, it seems unlikely that going back to junior would do anything for the 19-year-old forward.
After tonight, when his ELC officially kicks in, the next question will be whether the Hurricanes play Jarvis for 40 games this season. That would take him a year toward unrestricted free agency, sometimes a threshold that teams consider more important for young players. At any rate, if the team believes he’s one of the 12 forwards that can help them win, it seems likely that the Hurricanes will put him in the lineup. This team has Stanley Cup aspirations and are proving just how dangerous they are with a 14-2 record through the first 16 games.