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.
Photo: Rookie defenseman Ryan Murphy began the 2013-14 season in the NHL and has looked very good so far. Murphy was the 12th overall selection in the 2011 NHL Draft. (courtesy of Andy Mead/YCJ/Icon SMI)
With the lack of high-end talent in their farm system and an urgent need for game changers at the professional level, the Carolina Hurricanes find themselves in a familiar position. The organization made bold moves by putting top prospects Ryan Murphy and Elias Lindholm on their NHL roster to start the 2013-14 season. Now once again, the minor ranks are depleted of high-end talent and the Hurricanes' success relies on several rookies making an immediate impact.
Photo: Defenseman Chris Tanev has been one of the best blueliners at both ends of the rink for the Chicago Wolves thus far in 2012-13. (courtesy of Zuma Press/Icon SMI)
Considering that the Chicago Wolves have played the fewest games in their conference to this point in the 2012-13 season, they are enjoying a modicum of success. Though currently sitting in 10th spot, the AHL affiliate of the Vancouver Canucks is still within striking distance of a top five seeding.
Photo: Chicago Wolves goaltender Eddie Lack leads a shallow group of netminder in the Vancouver Canucks' prospect pipeline. (courtesy of Zuma Press/Icon SMI)
Had the NHL lockout not come to pass, it certainly would have been an interesting training camp in Penticton this season for the Vancouver Canucks. They have graduated a number of players over the past five years, leaving only a couple of select, higher-tier prospects to mature and come of age. With Ryan Kesler and Alex Edler still on the shelf after surgeries, it was shaping up to be an impromptu game of musical chairs to fill the holes left by Kesler’s and Edler’s convalescence.