The Carolina Hurricanes have had an interesting offseason that has seen a lot of changes to the roster that could see some serious changes to the lines. For this reason, the team is likely to experiment to find some good line chemistry in the preseason and will likely see some movement from players who performed well in training camps. Here’s a look at the possible lines for the Hurricanes on opening night.
First Line: Terravainen – Aho – Svechnikov
The first line of the Hurricanes is fairly predictable as these three players have looked nearly inseparable as they have done an amazing job at putting up points. All three of these players are able to play both ways and contribute to the defense efficiently, making them a solid choice for the first line as they are a tough one to go up against. The only downside of this line is that it is a lot of goal-scoring power on one line, which may see them being broken up throughout the season to spread the shooting power.
Second Line: Necas – Trochek – Niederreiter
The second line of the Hurricanes will likely see some movement up and down as the season progresses depending on player performance. The line sees a good mix of goalscoring prowess, playmaking ability, and defensive strength. Overall this line seems fairly versatile and could see a fair bit of playing time as they are likely to be able to push through as the generalist line.
Third Line: Martinook – Staal – Fast
This third line is a heavy grinding line, with pure veteran talent taking the spaces in this line. This line will look to play physically and likely make the difference in enforcing for the team. The line has played together before and has some strong leaders, including the Hurricanes captain, Jordan Staal. Overall the line has some chance to surprise, as each of these players has put up beauty goals that could see the veteran line making some masterful plays.
Fourth Line: Leivo – Stepan – Jarvis
This fourth line would be entirely new for the Hurricanes, as Jarvis looks ready to play his rookie season in the NHL, and the newly acquired Josh Leivo and Derek Stepan look ready to train him with some veteran mindsets. No one fully knows what to expect from this line, but it holds a lot of promise in bringing up a possible future star, while also giving two veteran two-way forwards the chance to shine.
First Line: Slavin – Pesce
Slavin and Pesce look ready to start on the first line as Jaccob Slavin has been a top performer for the Hurricanes, and with the loss of Dougie Hamilton, Brett Pesce sees his chance to come up to the first line and show the league what he can do. Overall the line looks to be very defensively focused, and likely won"t be seen breaking away from the blue line. Both players are known for their defensive abilities and not as much for their goal-scoring abilities.
Second Line: Skjei – Bear
Brady Skjei and Ethan Bear are both fairly young similar in play style, being able to play efficiently both ways, they forecheck strongly, and move the puck well. It is not yet known how the two will blend together, but if the two can find their stride, it is likely that they could be one of the best lines in the league this season. The most likely drawback to this line will be if they don"t have the proper chemistry going into the season, but there is a chance they can develop more the longer they play together.
Third Line: Cole – DeAngelo
Although Anthony DeAngelo was a heavily questioned signing, he still looks poised to take a position in the top six defensemen. This line pairing would be another entirely new one for the Hurricanes, as both Ian Cole and DeAngelo play their first season with the team. The players seem able to play either way on the ice with Cole specializing in the defensive aspect, and DeAngelo playing strongly on the offensive side of things.
In the goalie position, it is entirely a toss-up between Antti Raanta and Frederik Andersen. If Andersen has recovered fully from his injury and recovered his form, then Andersen would be a solid choice and could see a solid push for one of the top goalies in the league. If Andersen has not recovered, then the Hurricanes can put their faith in the veteran Raanta to play well in between the pipes.
The possible signing of forward Jesperi Kotkaniemi could see the core of this team change, with Stepan possibly moving down to the position of a rotation player, and Staal possibly moving down to the backline to accommodate Kotkaniemi.
As well, depending on the performances of Nick Suzuki and Seth Jarvis, the backline could be changed to accommodate either one of them playing their rookie season in the NHL, with Leivo moving to either the left or right depending on which player gets their shot in the big leagues.
Veteran defenseman Jake Gardiner may also see some playtime as a seventh defenseman and possibly rotating in through the lines depending on the performance of newly acquired defensemen, and possible injuries that may come throughout the season.