31 in 31: Top Ten Prospects Vol. 6 – Carolina Hurricanes

Welcome back to my 31 in 31 top ten prospect series.

Yesterday, we went to the province of Alberta and took a look at what the Calgary Flames are dealing with in the pipelines. Their balanced prospect pool consisted of a wide variety of players such as Juuso Valimaki, Dillon Dube, and Andrew Mangiapane. Today, we’re going back south of the border to have a look at the Carolina Hurricanes and who they’ve got in their farm system. Without further ado, let’s dive in.

1. Martin Necas (C, 1st Round, 12th Overall in 2017)

In some mock drafts, Necas was projected to go in the top ten. But he slipped down to 12th where the Hurricanes happily capitalized and brought him into their organization. Necas lit it up at all levels last season including an incredible world juniors performance and a great season with HC Kometa Brno where he put up 17 points in 24 games. In his first season in North America, Necas has put up 13 points in 20 games for the Charlotte Checkers and also dipped his feet into NHL waters, where he has two points in a seven-game stint.

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2. Adam Fox (D, 3rd Round, 66th Overall to CGY in 2016)

The Hurricanes acquired Adam Fox from the Calgary Flames before the 2018-19 season in the blockbuster that sent Dougie Hamilton to Carolina with Noah Hanifin and Elias Lindholm going back the other way. Fox is currently lighting the lamp playing for Harvard University of the NCAA with a whopping 20 points in 11 games. Expect Fox to get a taste of NHL action in the near future.

3. Jake Bean (D, 1st Round, 13th Overall in 2016)

Bean was drafted early in 2016 after an incredible offensive season in the WHL with 64 points in 68 games. He played out the last of his junior career last season and is currently in the middle of his first AHL season with the Charlotte Checkers. Bean currently has 12 points in 23 games and has two NHL games under his belt. He has a real chance to be one of the better offensive defensemen in the league in his prime.

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4. Stelio Mattheos (RW, 3rd Round, 73rd Overall in 2017)

It’s obviously much too early to tell, but the Hurricanes may have struck gold with the selection of Stelio Mattheos back in 2017. The Winnipeg native is currently playing for the Brandon Wheat Kings of the WHL and has 42 points in 27 games thus far. Acting as captain of the team this season, Mattheos has the option to either play for the Checkers next season or go back for one more overage season. If he continues to produce, it’s more likely he makes the jump to pro.

5. Janne Kuokkanen (C, 2nd Round, 43rd Overall in 2016)

Kuokkanen has been steadily improving his game every year since he’s been drafted and shows no plans of slowing down. A former London Knight, the 6’1 Finn is having an amazing season with the Charlotte Checkers in which he’s put up 23 points in 24 games. With 4 NHL games already under his belt, he could be one of the next call ups the Hurricanes make.

6. Aleksi Saarela (C, 3rd Round, 89th Overall in 2015 to NYR)

Acquired from the New York Rangers back in 2016 in a deal that sent Eric Staal to the Big Apple, Saarela is a fellow Finn drafted after the first round and is more or less in the same boat as Kuokkanen. He’s currently in his second full season in North America and he’s doing very well, putting up 16 points in 24 games so far.

7. Morgan Geekie (C, 3rd Round, 67th Overall in 2017)

Geekie just wrapped up his final season playing for the Tri-City Americans of the WHL, and after lighting the lamp offensively with 84 points in 68 games, Geekie has been given a shot with the Charlotte Checkers and he’s off to a good start, putting up a respectable nine points in 21 games. He joins a Hurricanes pipeline that’s stacked with centres, so Geekie will have his work cut out for him.

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8. Warren Foegele (LW, 3rd Round, 67th Overall in 2014)

While most Canadian prospects spend their draft seasons playing in the CHL, Foegele took a somewhat unheard of path, playing high school hockey in his draft year. The Canes saw potential him, however, and then he eventually continued his development playing in the OHL. The Markham native has been with the Hurricanes all season and has put up five points through 27 games.

9. Julien Gauthier (RW, 1st Round, 21st Overall in 2016)

Standing at a hulking 6’4 and 225 lbs, the most attractive part of Gauthier’s games to scouts and brass is the combination of size and his ability to score goals. Gauthier is currently in his second full AHL season and so far he’s put up 7 goals and 12 points through 24 games.

10. Alex Nedjelkovic (G, 2nd Round, 37th Overall in 2014)

A native of Parma, Ohio, Alex Nedjelkovic is standing his ground as the Hurricanes’ best goaltending prospect. He’s currently in his third full pro season and he sports a record of 12-4-0 with a goals against average of 2.90 and .894. With the uncertainty in the Hurricanes net, Nedjelkovic has a better chance at scoring a spot in the organization than other goalies do.

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Thanks for reading! Tune in tomorrow where we’ll go over the Chicago Blackhawks farm system.

stats from eliteprospects.com

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