We are 23 days away from the start of the NHL season. The scheduling of your Fantasy Hockey drafts have begun. The DraftKit is on sale and it is time to start previewing the 2016-17 NHL season.
I will be previewing two teams every day and each preview will consist of: Projected Line Combinations, a breakdown of each team’s top Fantasy assets, a look at their goaltending situation and 2016-17 NHL Standings projection.
If you don’t want to wait for the previews, buy our 2016-17 DraftKit—which has previews for every team as well as projections for over 300 players and goalies. You will get rankings and projections on here over the next few weeks, but why wait, when you can get it all right now for just $4.95?
Let’s take a look at the Carolina Hurricanes.
|Teuvo Teravainen – RW – (from CHI)||Riley Nash – C – (to BOS)|
|Lee Stempniak – RW – (from BOS)||James Wisniewski – D – (to UFA)|
|Viktor Stalberg – RW – (from NYR)||Nathan Gerbe – LW – (to NYR)|
|Bryan Bickell – LW – (from CHI)||Brad Malone – C – (to WSH)|
|Matt Tennyson – D – (from SJ)|
By: Michael Bondy (@)
The Carolina Hurricanes… are the Carolina Hurricanes. After missing the playoffs for their seventh consecutive year in 2015-16 the Hurricanes will return for the 2016-17 season as nothing more than another rebuilding franchise. Stacked with young talent, the Hurricanes will be looking to develop both their front and back ends throughout the year as they hope to contend for the playoffs for years to come.
Carolina’s most intriguing rostered player comes from their weak looking back end in the form of 24-year-old fantasy stud, Justin Faulk. Faulk’s 2016 season was unfortunately cut short due to injury; otherwise it would have seen the young American shatter the Hurricanes’ all time Power play goal total for a single season. Faulk managed to tie the record of 12 goals in an amazing 29 games to start the year, as he looked to be an early, obvious Norris Trophy Candidate before slowing down for his final 35 games and eventually missing the final 18 games due to a nagging leg injury. Faulk is currently expected to line up on the top pair next to a young Jaccob Slavin, a player with a mere 63 career games to his name. Slavin’s top spot will be pressured early as breakout candidate, and No.5 overall pick from the 2015 draft Noah Hanifin will be looking to take over the high pressure, fantasy relevant minutes from Slavin. The rest of the Canes back end will be rounded out by veteran Ron Hainsey, and two younger, inexperienced bodies in Brett Pesce and Haydn Fleury.
The Hurricanes’ offensive unit is built in a very odd fashion which unfortunately may not translate to many fantasy relevant players. With a top line that is led by defensive specialist Jordan Staal, the Canes will be looking to get more of an offensive output from their young, second and third lines. Led by their youthful snipers Jeff Skinner (28 G, 1st team scoring) and Victor Rask (21 G, 2nd team scoring) the team will look to continue to get majority of its scoring production from the second line. Perhaps one of the most intriguing, young, third lines in all of hockey the Canes will also look for production from 2015 second round draft pick Sebastian Aho (No.35 overall), Elias Lindholm (39 pts in 82 GP) and finally their biggest offseason acquisition Tuevo Teravainen. The Finnish winger was dealt to Carolina in the offseason after three up and down years with the Chicago Blackhawks. Teravainen will be looking to show the potential that has made him such a highly regarded prospect across the league the last couple of seasons. He will look to add to his 35-point campaign from a year ago with hopes and potential of cracking the top-6. All three third line players make intriguing young sleeper options on a team looking to find its true identity.
It seems every year for the past few seasons Cam Ward has been the talk of trade rumours and a guarantee to leave Carolina, yet here we are again talking about him in the starting goaltending position for the Hurricanes. Now splitting time evenly with 28-year-old Eddie Lack, it seems this may be the final season we see Ward dawning a red and white jersey. The pair managed to end the 2015-16 season ranked 18th best in the NHL in goals against average (2.70) and will look to improve upon those numbers as their young D-corps continues to develop in front of them.
Overall the Hurricanes offer a lot of excitement in the form of young talent, but don’t have the look of a playoff team. Expect this team to be strong in years to come, but for now look at the 2016-17 season as a year of learning through experience, as fans can expect to see a lot of good, as well as a lot of bad from their young team.
Hurricanes in the DFO Top 275:
- 78. Justin Faulk – D
- 105. Jeff Skinner – LW
- 192. Victor Rask – C
- 199. Cam Ward – G
- 229. Elias Lindholm – C
- 236. Jordan Staal – C
- 254. Sebastian Aho – LW
2016-17 Season Projection:
The Hurricanes are still a few years away from being a playoff team and could find themselves near the bottom of the league in 2016-17. Nolan Patrick is the preseason No.1 pick and could be wearing a Hurricanes jersey and hat on June 23rd, 2017.
- Carolina Hurricanes