Carolina Prospect Update

By Parker Neale

An update with stats for all Carolina Hurricane prospects. Most of the individuals to be profiled are embroiled in their respective playoff races. Therefore, let’s take a look at how they all faired as their regular seasons wound down.

Lowell (AHL)

Up front for the Lock Monsters, Brad DeFauw has put together a respectable sophomore season but has, probably not matched the pre-season expectations that would have been placed on him by the Hurricanes’ brass. He has 17 goals and 36 points after 60 games. However, he does have 6 points in his last 9 contests as the team has finished off strong, just like they started.

Jesse Boulerice has, probably fulfilled all expectations since being traded from the Philadelphia Phantoms as he has tallied 4 points and 80 penalty minutes in 14 games.

Mike Zigomanis has faded offensively as his rookie season has progressed. He does have 46 points after 76 games. However, 31 of those came in the first 44 games. On the other hand, Jeff Heerema has been dynamite all year and now has 33 goals and 68 points after 73 games.

Tomas Kurka has been fairly steady throughout the season and now has 27 points after 68 games. Whereas, Brett Lysak hasn’t demonstrated the offensive capabilities that he displayed in junior during his rookie pro campaign and, with 14 points after 53 games, was sent down to Florida of the ECHL where he has 9 points in 16 games. Ian MacNeil has a respectable 32 points and 126 penalty minutes after 76 games, totals that mirror his previous two seasons. He is yet to receive a call-up to the big club.

Meanwhile, Jaroslav Svoboda and Craig MacDonald recently got the call from Carolina after solid AHL play. Svoboda has responded with 1 goal and 1 assist in 3 NHL games while MacDonald has 1 assist after 6 games and was signed to a new 1-year contract on March 20th.

No prospect really stands out above the rest on the Lowell blueline. Nikos Tselios, Greg Kuznik and Peter Reynolds focus more on the defensive aspects of the game. Offensively, they have notched 19, 11 and 3 points after 69, 55 and 42 games, respectively. Reynolds was recently demoted to Florida where he has no points and 10 penalty minutes after 7 games.

In goal, Jean-Marc Pelletier had already put together another solid year but decided to elevate his game another notch since our last update. In his past 12 starts, he has gone 7-1-2, lowered his goals-against-average from 3.05 to 2.63 and raised his save percentage from 0.910 to 0.920.

Florida (ECHL)

Brent McDonald’s offensive prowess has improved slightly over last season, his rookie campaign. He finished with 32 points in 69 games with Florida and no points in 2 games with Lowell.

Ryan Murphy and Don Smith fit, pretty much the same profile as McDonald as they tallied 31 and 33 points to go along with 38 and 35 penalty minutes in 66 and 71 games, respectively.

On defence for the Everblades, Shaun Fisher put together a decent rookie campaign offensively with 25 points in 66 games.

In goal, Rob Zepp has seen his rookie pro season slip from his hands due to nagging injuries. He finished the regular season with 6 wins, a 3.33 goals-against-average and a 0.902 save percentage in 13 games.


Forward Damian Surma really picked up his game since our last update and notched 10 goals and 17 points and was +11 in his final 11 regular season games for Plymouth of the Ontario Hockey League.

Plymouth defenceman Jared Newman ended up leaving his mark on the opposition with 106 penalty minutes in the regular season. Such was also the case for Tomas Malec of the Rimouski Oceanic as he combined offence and defence as evidenced by his 46 points and 164 penalty minutes in 51 games.

And, in net, Daniel Boisclair finished the year strong after his trade to the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League’s Victoriaville Tigres. In his last 7 games, he had 3 wins and 2 ties, lowered his goals-against-average from 3.74 to 3.23 and raised his save percentage from 0.890 to 0.898.

U.S. College

Ryan Bayda finished his collegiate career in fine fashion, leading the University of North Dakota Fighting Sioux with 47 points in 37 games. He was later signed to his first professional contract by Carolina on March 20th. David Evans was also steady for Clarkson University with 23 points in 36 games. And, on defence, Brad Fast was stellar for Michigan State University with 26 points and a +14 rating in 41 games.


Although he only produced 1 assist and 4 penalty minutes in 15 games with AK Bars Kazan of the Russian Hockey League, defenceman Igor Knyazev is still a decent bet to make the Hurricanes next season. He was stellar in helping Russia win the gold at the 2002 World Junior Championships and playing with men this season will only help his cause.