Carolina Hurricanes possess diverse mix of prospects at OHL level

By Robert Theodorson

Sergey Tolchinsky - Carolina Hurricanes

Photo: Signed to an entry-level contract in August, forward Sergey Tolchinksy has been a revelation in his second season of junior hockey. The young Russian has 39 points through 24 games with the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds. (courtesy of Aaron Bell/OHL Images)

The Carolina Hurricanes possess six prospects at the Canadian major junior level, all of whom are playing in the OHL. There are three forwards, two defensemen, and one goaltender. Two of the prospects, Sergey Tolchinsky and Tyler Ganly, are teammates on the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds.

OHL

Daniel Altshuller, G, Oshawa Generals
Acquired: 3rd Round (69th overall) in 2012

One of the top goalies in the OHL, Altshuller's internal value to the Hurricanes has skyrocketed in recent months. After multiple injuries and dozens of games lost due to injuries, the longevity of franchise netminder Cam Ward is a concern.

Altshuller has been one of the top goaltenders in the OHL this season. He leads the league with 17 wins, his .919 save percentage is third in the league, and his 2.58 goals against average ranks fifth. Expect the 19-year-old to see significant post-season action for the Generals this season.

He was selected to represent the OHL at the Subway Super Series, but did not see any starts.

Sergey Tolchinsky, RW, Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds
Acquired: Free Agent Signing in 2013

An immensely skilled forward, Tolchinsky was overlooked at the 2013 NHL Draft because of his of his small 5'9 frame. He was invited to the Carolina Hurricanes prospect development camp, and after impressing coaches and management, was signed to an NHL entry-level contract. The decision has paid early dividends for the Hurricanes, as the Russian leads the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds with 15 goals and 24 assists.

Whereas he was not even a point-per-game player last year, it appears that Tolchinsky could hover around two points-per-game for the 2013-14 season. Size will always be a concern at the NHL level, but if the 18-year-old can keep getting stronger, he could carve out a role as a speedy, offensively skilled winger.

Tolchinsky was selected to represent Russia at the Subway Super Series and managed a goal in the one game he appeared in.

Brock McGinn, LW, Guelph Storm
Acquired: 2nd Round (47th overall) in 2012

A hard-nosed power forward, McGinn has developed into a legitimate scoring threat in the OHL. He is contributing on both of the Storm's special teams and scoring plenty of goals in the process. He has been a model of consistency offensively, having been held off the scoresheet just once all season.

There are not too many kinds of players more appealing to a pro club than guys who can score big goals, be responsible defensively, and play physically. McGinn has the chance to become that kind of player and at only 19 years old, he is setting the pace for his future in the NHL.

Brent Pedersen, LW, Kitchener Rangers
Acquired: 5th Round (126th overall) in 2013

A physically imposing forward at 6'2 and 205 pounds, Pedersen has been one of the top point producers for a struggling Kitchener Rangers team. The 18-year-old was snake bit to start the season, managing just one goal in his first 12 games. He has since picked up his production, posting five goals in his last 11 games, but whether or not he will be able to sustain the pace remains to be seen.

Pedersen is still very much a project at this point in his development. He has tantalizing size, and moves well for a big a man, but what kind of offensive upside he has is up in the air. At the very least, he appears to have the size and physicality to develop into a capable bottom-six grinder.

Trevor Carrick, D, Mississauga Steelheads
Acquired: 4th Round (115th overall) in 2012

A slick two-way defenseman, Trevor Carrick is the most exciting prospect in the Hurricanes junior ranks. The defenseman for the Mississauga Steelheads already surpassed the 10 goals he managed last year and currently has 12 through 27 games. He also leads the team in points with 25. Carrick's fight numbers are also way up from previous years and he has already dropped the gloves five times from last year.

Carrick was also selected to represent the OHL at the Subway Super Series and is scheduled to play the November 25th game.

Tyler Ganly, D, Sault Ste. Marie Greyounds
Acquired: 6th Round (156th overall) in 2013

Ganley is a tough, stay-at-home defenseman with not much offensive upside. He plays a physical game in his own end and has three fights so far this season. The 18-year-old is good at clearing the front of his net and does a good job of supporting Greyhounds goalie Matt Murray (PIT).

Considered to be highly coachable, Ganley has a strong attention to detail and does a lot of the little things right on defense. He is a capable penalty killer and is frequently on the ice for important defensive situations. He is also quite disciplined, and while his penalty minutes will be high because of his fights, he does not take a lot of costly penalties.

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