Hurricanes Mid-Season Prospect Report

By Parker Neale

The Hurricanes organization is successful at all levels at the current time. In the ECHL, the Florida Everblades are 23-13-5 and 4th in the Southeast Division, 4 points behind division-leading Greenville. The Lowell Lock Monsters have been fairly consistent after scorching the AHL through their first dozen games. They are now 23-14-7-1 (54 points), good enough for first place in the Southeast Division. The Hurricanes are first in the weak Southeast Division with a record of 22-17-7-5, which corresponds to 56 points and a ten-point lead over second-place Washington.

The Hurricanes also made a fairly significant trade this past week, sending Sandis Ozolinsh and Byron Ritchie to the Florida Panthers for defenceman Bret Hedican, forward Kevyn Adams and defensive prospect Tomas Malec, who is profiled below. Therefore, Ritchie will no longer be profiled within this section.

Rob Zepp

Zepp remains with Florida and is currently injured. His numbers haven’t changed since the last update. However, he appeared to be starting to find his game before the injury. He and Randy Petruk form a solid goaltending tandem for the Everblades.

Brad DeFauw

In 13 games since my last update, DeFauw has registered 1 goal, 4 assists and 2 penalty minutes for the Lock Monsters. Therefore, he cooled off a bit after his strong start. However, this is still only his second professional season.

Igor Knyazev

Knyazev had a strong 2002 World Junior Tournament, helping the Russians win the gold and earning the Top Defenceman honour. In the 7 games, he registered 2 goals, 1 assist, 35 penalty minutes and was +3. He continues to improve on his game with AK Bars Kazan in the Russian Hockey League and should be in a Hurricanes uniform within 2 years.

Mike Zigomanis

Zigomanis has 4 goals and 3 assists in the 13 games the Lock Monsters have played since my last update. His penalty minutes have remained locked at 6. After starting out his rookie professional season strong, it appears as though the opposition has keyed on him a little better and taken away some of his offence as a result.

Tomas Kurka

In 9 games since the last update, Kurka has notched 3 goals and 4 assists to go along with 6 more penalty minutes. Therefore, the Czech seems to be getting more accustomed to the AHL, thereby providing more offence.

Brett Lysak

Lysak has slightly picked up his offence since the last update, registering 3 goals and 1 assist in the past 7 games. His penalty minute totals remain at 14.

Jean-Marc Pelletier

Pelletier has gone 5-1-1 in his last 7 starts with the Lock Monsters, his GAA has dropped slightly from 2.89 to 2.87 and his save percentage has risen from 0.908 to 0.913. He has provided stable backstopping for Lowell throughout the season.

Nikos Tselios

Tselios still isn’t bringing a great deal of offence to the Lock Monsters. In his past 10 games, he has notched 3 assists. He now has 2 goals, 15 points and 35 penalty minutes total and is in his 3rd pro season. However, these totals are an improvement from past seasons.

Jaroslav Svoboda

The big Czech has registered 4 goals and 2 assists in his last 13 games with the Lock Monsters. His 39 penalty minutes are already more than last season’s 25 with the Cincinnati Cyclones (IHL). Although he only played 52 games in his rookie pro season, his offensive totals in all categories match or surpass those from last year.

Jeff Heerema

This second-year pro continues to put up solid offensive numbers. Over the past 10 games since the last update, Heerema has 5 goals and 4 assists for the Lock Monsters. He has already surpassed all offensive totals from last season and may be getting a call-up to Carolina before the end of the season if he keeps up this pace.

Ryan Bayda

Bayda is the leading point-getter for the North Dakota Fighting Sioux in his third season. He has 12 goals, 13 assists and is –1 after 25 games.

Tomas Malec

Malec continues to be a dominant offensive defenceman for the Rimouski Oceanic of the QMJHL. After tallying a point-a-game and 198 penalty minutes in his rookie junior season last year, the big Czech defenceman has 13 goals, 41 points and 121 penalty minutes in 43 games this year. His –5 rating may be due to the mediocre results registered by the team.

Other Notables

Daniel Boisclair

Boisclair continues to put up mediocre numbers for the QMJHL’s Cape Breton Screaming Eagles. In 22 games, he is 9-11-2 with a 3.80 GAA and a 0.891 save percentage.

David Evans

Clarkson University’s David Evans has seen his offensive numbers slip this season as a senior. After registering 12 goals and 31 points in 33 games last year, he has only 6 goals and 11 points in 19 games this year. However, at 6’2” and 200 pounds, Evans may be able to adjust to the pro game relatively fast.

Brad Fast

Fast is putting together a solid offensive year for a strong Michigan State squad. After 24 games, the junior defenceman has 7 goals and 20 points and is +15. Could he possibly be the next David Tanabe?

Shaun Fisher

For a smallish defenceman, Fisher is not putting up great offensive numbers for the Florida Everblades. He has notched 3 goals and 14 points after 36 games. However, he did not play last season and this is his first year pro.

Antti Jokela, Magnus Kahnberg, Niklas Nordgren, Mark Kosick

Their whereabouts could not be determined.

Craig MacDonald

MacDonalds offensive numbers have picked up since our last check. In his last 7 games with Lowell, he has 1 goal and 5 assists. The big centreman is now in his fourth professional season.

Ian MacNeil

So far, MacNeil’s penalty minutes have increased this season, while his offensive totals have taken a bit of a hit. However, in his last 7 games, he has 2 goals and 2 assists. He is in his 5th pro season.

Brent McDonald

McDonald’s offence is also starting to come around with the Everblades. The 22 year-old has 5 assists in his last 7 games and, apparently isn’t afraid to mix it up as his 63 penalty minutes in 39 games demonstrate.

Ryan Murphy

Murphy is putting together a respectable rookie pro season with the Everblades. He now has 21 points in 39 games and has 5 points in his last 7 games.

Jared Newman

This big Plymouth defenceman focuses more on defence than offence. While in his 4th season in the OHL, Newman has notched 10 points, 67 penalty minutes and an impressive +24 rating in 38 games.

Peter Reynolds

I’m not sure if Reynolds is getting quality ice time in Lowell or not as his 2 points and 34 penalty minutes in 30 games can attest. The recent recall of defenceman Ed Hill from Florida may result in Reynolds getting some time in the ECHL. However, it might be the management’s goal to bring him in slowly.

Don Smith

Smith is starting to pick up his offence with the Everblades. After starting off rather slowly, he has registered 4 goals and 1 assist in his last 7 games. The 6’2”, 205 pound centerman had four solid years at Clarkson University.

Damian Surma

Surma is putting together another solid season for the OHL’s Plymouth Whalers. He has 15 goals, 29 points, 48 penalty minutes and a +6 rating after 33 games. He has 6 points in his last 7 games.