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: 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.
Photo: Forward Victor Rask split the 2012-13 season between the Calgary Hitmen of the WHL and the Charlotte Checkers of the AHL. Rask projects to be a second-line forward for the Hurricanes, possibly as soon as next year. (courtesy of Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Despite lacking a lot of depth and talent, the Carolina Hurricanes organization has top-end prospects in the pipeline, including the offensively talented defenseman Ryan Murphy, and a potential rising offensive star in Victor Rask. There are also several good depth defensemen who, in the near future, could solidify the Carolina blue line.