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.
An injury riddled 2012-13 season saw the Carolina Hurricanes miss the playoffs for a fourth straight year. The organization finished tied for the fifth worst record in the NHL and struggled mightily to keep the puck out of their own net. Despite their struggles last season, the Hurricanes head into the 2013-14 season with a ‘win now’ mentality.
Since the NHL Draft was instituted in 1969, the Ontario Hockey League has proven to be the richest source of future talent in the world. And with six of the previous seven first-overall selections coming from the middle Canadian Hockey League association, there was no reason to believe that the province of Ontario (and parts of Michigan and Pennsylvania) wouldn’t be fertile soil again for the next generation of professionals.