As the NHL regular season looms closer, prospects will be looking to show off in training camp so that they can make their way into playing their rookie NHL season. Each prospect has had a chance to show off with their respective teams or in the AHL last season, even though their seasons had been slightly affected by the COVID-19 shutdowns. Most of these players have had a chance to grow and look to impress for an even larger shot at the big leagues with the Carolina Hurricanes, these are just some of those top prospects who look to take their shot.
Seth Jarvis, RW, Portland Winterhawks
With the modification to the season, Jarvis was able to play some games in the AHL, and he has already looked strong with the team, putting up 11 points in nine games. During his time playing with the Winterhawks, Jarvis took on the role of alternate captain while also being able to, yet again, put up more points than games, with 27 points in 24 games. Overall, Jarvis looks like a strong prospect to play with the Hurricanes and seems ready to make his debut in the NHL in the coming season.
Ryan Suzuki, C, Chicago Wolves
Another player benefiting from the modified season, Suzuki was able to play in the AHL and looked to continue with his role as a speedy playmaker. The center didn’t put up as much of a high-octane point scoring performance and looked almost overwhelmed by the step up to the AHL. Suzuki may take some time to acclimate to his surroundings, but it is likely that the player will eventually grow into the role of a top-nine forward in the NHL. More progress may be spotted from his training camps after Suzuki had a good performance at the international level.
Vasili Ponomarev, F, Spartak Moskova
Vasili Ponomarev has yet to be tested in the NHL or AHL and has instead been working on his form in the QMJHL and now in the KHL with Spartak Moskova. Overall, Ponomarev has put up some stellar performances, spending last season as an alternate captain for the Shawinigan Cataractes, where he helped them along in a rather short playoff run. The player will hope to be invited to training camp, but will likely use his time in the KHL to strengthen his game and appeal further to the Hurricanes.
Dominik Bokk, W, Chicago Wolves:
Dominik Bokk got to see his first chance in the AHL this past season and had a solid performance, which saw him put up nine of both goals and assists through 29 games. Overall, the German looks set to spend another season in the AHL. He’s already a great depth forward and would likely make a solid addition to the Hurricanes in a couple more seasons, but needs a little more time to polish his game first.
Joey Keane, D, Chicago Wolves
The young defensemen looked solid before coming into the AHL in the 2019-20 season. While playing in the OHL, Joey Keane held a +/- of 45 with the Barrie Colts before moving to the London Knights for the remainder of his last season. Once he started in the AHL, his performances seemingly downgraded, as his +/- went into the negatives. In the 2020-21 season, the defenseman seemingly changed his game to a more physical style, which saw him spend a long time in the penalty box, as well as having a negative two +/-. The player will likely look to solidify further in the upcoming season as he continues to play with the Wolves.
Jesper Sellgren, D, Frölunda HC
This defensemen has yet to be given a chance in the AHL but has seen the international stage with his home country of Sweden. In the SHL, Sellgren has looked fairly strong as a stay-at-home-style defenseman. His game may not be overly exciting, but it has seen him maintain a positive +/- while also putting up 19 points last season. He can read the game well and looks ready to be given his shot with the Chicago Wolves organization or even take a chance in the preseason with the Hurricanes.
Pyotr Kochetkov, G, Torpedo Nizhny Novgorod
The young goalie has made an impact with his teams wherever he has played, he has maintained a solid save percentage in each season. The player has made some solid performances in the playoffs for his team in the KHL. He doesn’t look ready to play in the NHL as of yet, but he could see some time as a backup in the AHL depending on his performance. He has a chance of being invited to a training camp with the Hurricanes, as well as a chance of serving some time in the ECHL.
Eetu Makiniemi, G, Ilves
Eetu Makiniemi has a fair bit of experience playing in Europe and has played solidly throughout his career. Last season, in 34 games, the goalie maintained a save percentage of almost 91% and helped his team into a playoff run. While his record for wins isn’t all-around great, he has had better seasons in the past which shows he can certainly work well in the net. The goalie will hope to be invited into a training camp this offseason, but could still use some time to polish his play before being called up to the big leagues, with a possibility of some ECHL time to get him acclimated to the North American game.
Overall each of these players makes a solid argument for breaking into the Hurricanes system or to play with the Chicago Wolves such that their growth can be more closely watched and groomed by the coaching staff as they look for their chance in the NHL. Regardless, these players look set to get their professional careers underway, as they aim to contribute to their team.
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