The word around the NHL is that the Carolina Hurricanes are a team on the rise. That fact is not lost on the club as they continued training camp and practiced in front of an energetic crowd during the Caniac Carnival on Sunday.
A total of 59 players were divided into two groups, one comprised of what would be considered the NHL group, and one full of youngsters.
(The team made their first set of cuts after practice, trimming five junior players and sending them to their respective Junior teams, bringing them to 54.)
Coach Bill Peters, who missed most of camp last year due to his participation in the World Cup of Hockey, put both groups through the paces and skated them through several endurance drills at the end.
The NHL group did perform some powerplay work first though, one of last year’s weaknesses which the head coach said they would strive to improve upon.
After the practices were over, both locker rooms were upbeat and the overall mood was light.
Some observations and quotes:
- Scott Darling takes up a lot of room in the net. He comes as advertised, very big yet he looked quick on his movements during his saves.
- Noah Hanifin said that he gained about 10 pounds during the offseason. He had been working hard during the summer and really looks more muscular than he did last year.
- Trevor Carrick, Haydn Fleury, Andrew Poturalski, Lucas Wallmark, and Patrick Brown were some of the borderline players who got to work with the NHL regulars.
- The powerplay units consisted of Elias Lindholm, Sebastian Aho, Teuvo Teravainen, Jordan Staal, and Justin Faulk, and then Jeff Skinner, Victor Rask, Justin Williams, Derek Ryan, and Hanifin.
- In the second grouping, Julien Gauthier had a couple of nice snipes. Gregory Hofmann also looked good.
- The lone skater wearing a yellow, “no contact” jersey was Valentin Zykov.
The team starts the preseason in earnest with a game in Buffalo tonight, Tampa Bay Tuesday night, and then they return back home for another game against the Lightning on Wednesday night. Peters was asked about the quick, heavy load and he said it was difficult but it was the same for everyone.
“You always want a little bit more practice time, but you’re all in the same boat,” the coach said. “There were already games last night.”
The Canes have released the roster for the game in Buffalo and it contains several interesting names to keep an eye on.
Fleury, Hanifin, Pesce, Bean, van Riemsdyk, Wesley, and Chelios are listed as the defensemen.
Ryan, Saarela, Jooris, McGinn, Poturalski, Di Giuseppe, Hofmann, Rask, Skinner, Tolchinsky, Wallmark, Miller, and Necas are listed as forwards.
Cam Ward, Alex Nedeljkovic, and Jeremy Smith are listed as the goaltenders.
Which of the new players will step up and earn a position with the new club?
Game time is at 7 pm and the audio will be provided by 99.9 The Fan.