December 31-in-31: Carolina Hurricanes



Well, here we are yet again. Hockey season is right around the corner (hopefully). 

The Carolina Hurricanes are coming off of yet another year of making the playoffs, after a long drought that disappointed many a Canes fan.

With one of the most lethal top lines in hockey, a lot of depth up front, a top group of blue-liners, and a bright mind behind the bench in Rod Brind’Amour, things are looking up for the Canes. 

The top line of Sebastian Aho, Teuvo Teravainen, and Andrei Svechnikov should be set in stone to start the year. The trio finished the year together and are poised to take a massive jump together this coming season. 

The core upfront will have many returnees outside of Justin Williams, who was replaced with Jesper Fast, creating one of the deepest forward groups in the league. 

Brett Pesce will be back on the backend after sitting out the end of the year, following surgery. He joins Jaccob Slavin, Dougie Hamilton, Brady Skjei, Haydn Fleury, and Jake Gardiner, which should end up being a top-five blue-line in hockey, yet again. If someone struggles, youngster Jake Bean will be in line to step in and there shouldn’t be much drop off. 

In net is always the adventure for the Canes. Petr Mrazek and James Reimer will both return. Hot on Reimer’s tail, though, is Alex Nedeljkovic, who doesn’t have much left to prove in the AHL. 

A big factor for the team’s success in the upcoming year is behind the bench, with Rod Brind’Amour. The team has done a fantastic job of embodying everything that Brind’Amour stands for – production upfront and playing with pace and toughness in both zones. That’s exactly how the team has evolved and will continue to do so. 

And yet, with all of the depth and talent the NHL team has, the Canes have an extremely deep prospect pool, so let’s take a look at how things have shaken out this offseason as well as 

Let’s take a look at how things shake out for this coming year. 

Offseason Moves

Jesper Fast – Fast was the main signing this offseason for the Canes, adding a player who can be a jack-of-all-trades guy for Head Coach, Rod Brind’Amour. He fits in perfectly with how the team wants to play, and his pace will significantly help the team play a deep forward group on a night-in and night-out basis. 

Jeremy Bracco – The Canes acquired Bracco for one year on a two-way contract. It will be interesting to see if he gets any time in one of the deepest forward groups in hockey.

Restricted Free Agents

Warren Foegele – Foegele re-signed with the team for one year, 2.15M, and will be back as a middle-six player for the team. 

Haydn Fleury – Fleury re-signed with the team for