After succumbing to the Winnipeg Jets in a 3-1 preseason loss on Wednesday, the Carolina Hurricanes made their largest roster cut to date on Thursday.
Hurricanes President and General Manager Jim Rutherford announced the assignment of 12 players from the training camp roster to the club’s American Hockey League (AHL) affiliate, the Charlotte Checkers.
Forwards Drayson Bowman, Zach Boychuk, Chris Durno, Jon Matsumoto, Jerome Samson, Brett Sutter and Chris Terry, defensemen Justin Krueger, Mathieu Roy and Bobby Sanguinetti, and goaltenders Mike Murphy and Justin Peters, will join Charlotte’s training camp on Friday.
The kids are alright
With the Hurricanes roster reduced to 24 players as the team prepares to take on the Columbus Blue Jackets on Friday at the RBC Center, forwards Zac Dalpe, Riley Nash, and Jiri Tlusty along with defensemen Justin Faulk and Ryan Murphy remain in Raleigh.
All products of shrewd scouting and development in the Hurricanes system and forward-thinking trades, these young players could provide a spark to start the season for the Hurricanes.
Dalpe, the team’s second pick in the 2008 draft, has made the strongest case repeatedly throughout camp and is currently getting practice and game time in the team’s top 6 rotation during the preseason.
Nash, a first overall pick in the 2007 draft of the Edmonton Oilers and acquired by the Canes in June 2010, has been working hard at camp as a big center who can win faceoffs which is an area that the team must improve upon from last season.
Tlusty, a top pick of the Toronto Maple Leafs in 2006 who came to the Hurricanes midway during the 2009 season, seems to have recovered from an injury suffered last season and is showing the two-way skills that he possesses in adding depth on the offensive line-up sheet so far.
Faulk, a second round draft pick in 2010, has shown consistent play so far in the defensive end by utilizing his skating ability and thickness to contain incoming forwards while being able to transition the play effectively up ice.
Murphy, this summer’s top draft pick for the Hurricanes, has created the biggest impact on creating talk about the team’s blue line corps as his exceptional skating and puck control skills along with his positional play in both ends of the ice has kept him at camp longer than many expected.
Intense final week of camp
With only two preseason games remaining before the team kicks off the 2011-2012 campaign against the Tampa Bay Lightning, keeping these young players on the roster makes sense.
Firstly, they have earned the opportunity to stay as head coach Paul Maurice has repeatedly stated throughout camp.
Secondly, the pleasant surprise and breath of fresh air that these young players, particularly Murphy and Faulk, have infused into training camp practices and games is making the veterans work harder.
“I’ve got a couple of guys who I think can play better than they’ve played,” Maurice said. “I was in a hurry to get down on the (number of) forwards. I’m not in as big of a hurry to get down on our (number of) defenseman if we have to carry a few more.
There is no doubt that with Thursday’s significant roster cut, the final week of training camp will become even more intense and Hurricanes fans should expect to see some impressive play coming from these young players and even more from the veterans.
Anything less will be disappointing.
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