Photo: Forward Phil Di Giuseppe has been solid in his first full season of professional hockey, posting four goals and seven assists through 29 AHL games. (courtesy of Andy Mead/YCJ/Icon Sportswire)
In what is already looking like a lost season before the campaign even reaches the All-Star break, the Carolina Hurricanes – currently one of the frontrunners in the Connor McDavid/Jack Eichel sweepstakes – have begun giving some of their AHL players a closer look.
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.
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: University of Wisconsin forward and Los Angeles Kings prospect Michael Mersch is expected to be one of the offensive leaders for the Badgers in his final NCAA season (courtesy of Fred Kfoury/Icon SMI)
The Big Ten is one of two brand new conferences debuting in the NCAA this season. There’s much anticipation and excitement surrounding this new conference and, with 50 NHL prospects playing in the Big Ten this season, it is certain to be among the most-watched conferences.