Based on Matthew Pouliot’s series on Circling the Bases, I have decided restore the rosters for every NHL team. Like Pouliot, I have established some ground rules for my selections.
- Each team contains players they originally drafted or signed before any other NHL team. This includes players drafted and not signed, as well as European free agents coming over at an older age.
- I have chosen to leave retired players off the list, and lean toward players in the AHL rather than those deported (KHL, SEL, DEL, etc.).
Essentially I am choosing the best available players for a team to succeed in the current NHL season. All 30 teams will be covered, with grades assigned to forwards, defense and goaltending. After all 30 articles are written, they will be ranked in order. This series’ intent is to reward or shame NHL scouts.
Looking at the roster, there are a few names most casual fans would know, and then a few only Hurricanes fans and prospect enthusiasts have knowledge of. Despite carrying a few superstar players the Canes have to rely on a plethora of young and unproven players.
The lineup for the Carolina Hurricanes is as follows.
The forward core is a bit top-heavy, but features some good young talent. A few years down the road, these lines may not be as embarrassing.
Andrew Ladd – Eric Staal – Chad LaRose
Eric Cole – Michael Nylander – Craig Adams
Drayson Bowman – Brandon Sutter – Zach Boychuk
Ryan Bayda – Craig MacDonald
Despite a decent first line, the Canes lack the depth of NHL regulars. Putting a now in exported Nylander and a fourth liner in Adams on the second line is a bit of a stretch. Similarly playing Bowman or Boychuk on a regular shift this early in their development also is a stretch. Certainly not a strength to their team, they are essentially forced to dress seven defensemen as well as several AHL forwards.
Of the players drafted, only four of the seven defensemen are still in the system. While there is undoubtedly some talent in there, not all these players are NHL regulars yet.
Chris Pronger – Jack Johnson
Niclas Wallin – Tyson Strachan
Brett Carson – Bryan Rodney
Whether in Hartford or Carolina, management sure has a knack for trading away young, mean franchise defensemen. Wallin can play a solid #3 but the rest of the defense is questionable. Now a member of the Blues, Strachan has seen some NHL time while the other three had cups of coffee with the Canes this year or last.
Definitely the strength in their drafting, the Canes drafted two all-star goalies as well as another serviceable starter.
Extra: Justin Peters, Manny Legace
Ward is already a young all-star and Stanley Cup Champion while the same can be said for Giguere. Legace enjoyed years as an NHL starter and currently returned to his roots, filling in for the injured Ward. There are no question marks in goal for this team.
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