The Carolina Hurricanes finished the season with 99 points, good for the seventh seed in the Eastern Conference, and what they did in round one would have been the story of the year in the NHL, had it not been for the Columbus Blue Jackets and their stunning sweep of the Tampa Bay Lightning. In round one, the Hurricanes took on the defending champion Washington Capitals and took them down in seven games, including a two-overtime thriller in game seven. But, much like the Blue Jackets, their Stanley Cup dreams came to a crashing halt in round two when they were swept out of the playoffs by the New York Islanders. But still, for a seventh seed, not bad at all.
The Hurricanes were strong on defense a year ago, finishing seventh in goals allowed and eighth in penalty kill. However, they were much worse on offense, finishing 16th in goals allowed and 20th in power play, so offense would be the top priority this offseason. Due to previous trades, the Hurricanes first-round selection was 28th overall, and they used it on talented goal scorer center Ryan Suzuki from Barrie of the Ontario Hockey League. In free agency, they added goaltender Petr Mrazek, defensemen Alex Lintuniemi, left winger Brian Gibbons, and left winger Ryan Dzingel. If the Hurricanes can get a little better on offense that will go a long way towards climbing the ladder in the standings.
The Carolina Hurricanes had an average 2017-2018 season, finishing with just 83 points. This offseason, the Hurricanes needed a lot of fixes across the board. They were 23rd in goals scored, 22nd in goals allowed, 22nd in power play percentage, and 24th in power play kill. Looking at this Hurricanes roster, what they badly need are some bigtime young stars. They have Sebastian Aho to start, the 21-year-old winger from Finland who finished 2018 with 65 points total, but they need more. They are expecting a big jump forward this season for 2017 first-round draft choice Martin Necas. For the 2018 NHL draft, they had the second overall selection and used it on 18-year-old winger Andrei Svechnikov from Russia. It may not pay off this season, but Svechnikov would be a big star down the road. If they can add some more talent, perhaps the Hurricanes could start to move the needle up again.
The Carolina Hurricanes are another team that by the pure record alone, did not have a great season in 2017, finishing with 81 points, and putting them near the bottom of the NHL standings. That poor record does not tell the whole story as to what’s going on with the Hurricanes. This team has some really good young players, and it’s going to take time for this team to gel. For example, 20-year-old left winger Sebastian Aho finished the season with 49 points in his first NHL campaign. How about 22-year-old Elias Lindholm, who led the team in assists with 34? He’s a solid player that just needs time to “season.” The centerpiece is 25-year-old Jeff Skinner, who led the team with 63 points overall.
During the offseason, the Hurricanex extended their goaltender Scott Darling for four more years, and also extended another young player, 22-year-old forward Teuvo Teravainen for two more years. Their big extension was 23-year-old defensemen Jaccob Slavin, who agreed to a seven year, 37.1 million dollar extension. In the draft, the Hurriances held the 12th selection overall and used it to take Martin Necas. Keep your heads up Hurricane fans, the future looks extremely bright.
The best season for the Hurricanes came in 2006, when the team won the Stanley Cup. They won the cup in seven games, defeating the Oilers. See Nathan Gerbe, Ryan Murphy, Eric Staal, and many others as they look to improve upon their record in 2015.