Carolina Hurricanes: The Future Looks Bright for These Overachievers
The Carolina Hurricanes overachieved for the 2018-2019 season. They reached the conference finals for the first time since 2008-2009 and that was also the last time Carolina made it to the postseason. Rod Brind’Amour had this team believing from day one.
All of his players bought into his system and Justin Williams the Hurricanes captain in Brind’Amour’s first season. Williams is 37 years old and he will be a free agent. They may bring back on a one-year deal for cheap, but the odds are the Hurricanes might want to make room for some younger forwards for next season.
Twenty-year-old Martin Necas is one of those players. He was the 12th pick in the 2017 NHL Draft and Necas tore it up this season in the AHL with the Charlotte Checkers.
In 64 games played, he has scored 16 goals and recorded 36 assists. His plus/minus was 20. In eight playoff games with them, Martin Necas has scored two goals and recorded three assists. His plus/minus is -1.
It wouldn’t be much of a surprise to see him on the opening night roster next season for Carolina.
Another player that has the potential to crack the roster at some point next season is Stelio Mattheos. He was a third-round pick in the 2017 NHL Draft. Mattheos will most likely start next season in the AHL with the Charlotte Checkers.
He is only 19 years old. Stelio Mattheos played in 11 games during the regular season in the AHL and he scored two goals and recorded one assist. His plus/minus was also one.
Mattheos played earlier in the season with the Brandon Wheat Kings in the WHL. In fact, in 65 games played, he has scored 44 goals and recorded 52 assists. His plus/minus was 17.
Defenseman Jake Bean was the 13th overall pick in the 2016 NHL Draft. He will be ready to make an impact in the NHL next season. Bean is only 20 years old. In 70 games in the AHL this season, he has scored 13 goals and recorded 41 assists. His plus/minus is 17.
In four postseason games in the AHL, Jake Bean has recorded two assists. His plus/minus is 5.
He played in two NHL games this season and he didn’t record any stats. Because Bean might be more of a regular next season, it is quite possible Justin Faulk gets traded in the offseason. Faulk is 27 years old and next year will be the final season of his contract. He will be owed $4.83 million.
Justin Faulk has been rumored to be traded for quite some time now.
However, the goaltending situation could be dicey next season. In fact, Petr Mrazek and Curtis McElhinney are both free agents. Nonetheless, I think they will bring back Mrazek for a year and let McElhinney walk.
Also, Twenty-three-year-old Alex Nedeljkovic could potentially be the starting goalie next season. He has been Charlotte’s starter this season. His record in 51 games this season was 34-14-1 with a .916 save percentage and a 2.26 GAA, along with four shutouts.
Although, Nedeljkovic did play in one NHL game this season and he won his only start. His save percentage for that game was .923 and his GAA was 2.00 GAA.
In seven postseason games in the AHL, his record is 6-1 with a .916 save percentage and a 2.00 GAA, along with one shutout.
It is possible that Callum Booth could be the goalie of the future for the Carolina Hurricanes. Nevertheless, for now, it will most likely be Alex Nedeljkovic.
Carolina will have some key players on the roster moving forward like Andrei Svechnikov, Sebastian Aho, Warren Foegele, Brock McGinn, Jordan Staal, Jaccob Slavin, Dougie Hamilton, Jordan Martinook, Saku Maenalanen, and Nino Niederreiter.
Michael Ferland will be an unrestricted free agent and they most likely will not bring him back. This team finished as the first wild-card spot in the east this season. The Hurricanes, indeed, have a bright future ahead of them. They could a force to be reckoned with in the east for years to come as long as they draft well and sign quality free agents because the Metropolitan Division and the eastern conference is tough year in and year out.
Carolina will be hungry next season to win its first Stanley Cup title since the 2006 season.
How do you feel about the future of the Carolina Hurricanes? Leave a comment below.
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