Photo: Defenseman Brett Pesce is part of a deep group of defensive prospects for the Carolina Hurricanes. Pesce was picked in the third round of the 2013 NHL Draft. (courtesy of Fred Kfoury/Icon Sportswire)
The Carolina Hurricanes NHL roster is filled with young players, from established mainstays like Justin Faulk and Jeff Skinner to emerging talents like Elias Lindholm and Ryan Murphy.
The Carolina Hurricanes are hoping for a strong sophomore season from forward Elias Lindholm. The Hurricanes selected Lindholm fifth overall in the 2013 NHL Draft. (Courtesy of Dave Reginek/NHLI via Getty Images)
The one place the Carolina Hurricanes have benefited from five seasons out of the postseason is in the prospect department. Carolina has selected in the top 12 in four of the last five drafts, giving them a core of solid young players on which to rebuild the franchise and return to the playoffs.
Photo: Forward Elias Lindholm was selected by the Carolina Hurricanes fifth overall in the 2013 NHL Draft. (courtesy of Bill Streicher/Icon SMI)
It is a new era in Carolina. The only general manager the team has known since its move to Raleigh, Jim Rutherford, retired then later surprisingly took the same job with the Pittsburgh Penguins. Rutherford's heir apparent, former captain Ron Francis, has taken the reins and is charged with overseeing the Hurricanes' draft.
Photo: Forward Elias Lindholm has gradually found his footing at the NHL level. Selected fifth overall in the 2013 NHL Draft, Lindholm currently has four goals and eight assists through 35 NHL games. (courtesy of Gregg Forwerck/NHLI via Getty Images)
The good news for the Carolina Hurricanes is they have several players younger than 25 – two at the top of this ranking – who have contributed for them in the NHL this season. The big question is how many of the rest will eventually make their way to Raleigh.
Photo: Now in his fourth season of professional hockey, defenseman Michal Jordan has developed into a solid stay-at-home option for the Charlotte Checkers. Jordan currently has a goal and eight assists through 30 AHL games. (courtesy of Andy Mead/YCJ/Icon SMI)
The Carolina Hurricanes have more or less all their eggs in one basket, with the majority of their prospects playing for the Charlotte Checkers of the AHL. With the sheer number of prospects Carolina is playing at the professional level, one would expect better results in the AHL. That is not the case however, as the Checkers currently rank 11th in the AHL's Western Conference.