Most likely to Succeed is our newest series which points out one player from every team and explains why that player is poised to increase their point totals. While some teams may have more than one player likely to breakout and some none, we will focus on the ones who actually should improve with a full healthy season. File this article under a sleeper-type but sleepers would not be called that if people saw them coming.
When looking at the Carolina Hurricanes roster, the clear cut top prospect would be Jamie McBain. Last season we received a taste of what he could do with time on the top powerplay unit and alongside Joni Pitkanen or Brian Pothier he registered ten points in 14 games.
This Minnesota native showed the world how good he could be in his college years becoming the top defenseman on a strong University of Wisconsin team then played well in his first season in the AHL. At only 22-years-old he tied for third on the Albany River Rats with 7 goals and 33 assists and putting up another six points in eight playoff games.
File me under impressed.
With a cannon of a shot and surefire offensive instincts McBain holds all the tools to succeed at the NHL level. The Canes seem very open to play kids and with a self imposed cap playing a rookie top minutes would prove cost-efficient. Something tells me he will find time with the man advantage even with Anton Babchuk, Joe Corvo and Pitkanen on the back end; they would be wasting the kid otherwise.
Expect close to ten goals and thirty points as a top end but this kid maintains giant keeper value.