Photo: Defenseman Dennis Robertson has recently completed his four-year career at Brown University. Robertson managed six goals and 11 assists as a senior. (courtesy of Richard T Gagnon/Getty Images)
The Carolina Hurricanes have six prospects playing collegiate hockey and two more in Europe. In recent years, the team has done well developing NCAA talent – particularly defensemen – but has had little success with overseas prospects playing and then making the leap to North America.
Photo: Jokerit defenseman and Dallas Stars prospect Esa Lindell (R) scored the first goal of the game in Finland’s 3-2 gold medal win over Sweden at the 2014 World Junior Championship (courtesy of LUDVIG THUNMAN/AFP/Getty Images)
With the wealth of talented young defensemen coming out of Finland's junior hockey program lately, it's hard to imagine that just three years ago there was a serious dearth of prospects.
Photo: Defenseman Rasmus Rissanen is the only member of Carolina’s 2009 draft class who is still with the Hurricanes organization. Rissanen was selected in the 6th round of the 2009 NHL Draft. (courtesy of Jamie Kellner/HF)
In the summer of 2009, the Carolina Hurricanes were coming off a surprising run to the Eastern Conference finals, meaning the team would choose near the bottom of the draft.
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.