Analyzing Each Carolina Hurricanes Prospect Forward Fighting for 2015-16 NHL Job

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Analyzing Each Carolina Hurricanes Prospect Forward Fighting for 2015-16 NHL Job
Gregg Forwerck/Getty Images

Carolina Hurricanes general manager Ron Francis has given a massive vote of confidence to the team's cast of prospects by leaving at least one NHL forward spot open entering training camp.

Instead of drawing from a still-substantial pool of free-agent wingers, it appears likely that the 'Canes will enter September with only nine forwards on one-way contracts and two more, Elias Lindholm and Victor Rask, on two-way deals but virtually guaranteed NHL jobs.

It's difficult nevertheless to identify the top contenders to earn the final open spot (and/or knock a current forward out of another spot).

Six forwards who played on a disappointing 2014-15 Charlotte Checkers team at the AHL will be in the mix, but a pair of Swedish league imports as well as hyped OHL product Sergey Tolchinsky will play wild-card roles in the competition.

Important to note in the fight for a spot will be handedness. As I explored in a July column, nine of the 11 established Canes forwards shoot left-handed, leaving a greater need for right-handed shots; only two of the eight forwards described in this slideshow, moreover, are actually right-handed.

Which prospect forwards will be competing for an NHL roster spot come October? Eight viable candidates are analyzed on the coming slides.

 

 

Assuming a 40 percent chance that one of the 11 existing NHLers will be unseated, the percent chances for all eight prospects add up to 140 percent. Prospects are listed alphabetically.

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