Friday, May 18, 2007

Canes Youth Movement on D

Luke's quickie in the N&O about the signing of Casey Borer today got me looking at the Canes system depth at defense.

Hockey's Future ranks the Hurricanes system only #18 in the league, but I like where the franchise stands in goal and on D. Golden Domers Kyle Lawson and Noah Babin, along with fellow US National Team Development Program vet Jamie McBain form a nice down-the-road-a-couple-of-seasons core. Add a Euro with leadership experience in international play with Czech, Jakub Vojta, and you've got the makings of a nice youth movement. Those geographically pre-disposed to attending Carolina Hurricanes training camp later this summer should have some fun watching these young bucks fight for attention.

Forwards on the other hand...perpetual tweeners like Shane Willis, Ryan Bayda and Keith Aucoin are solid AHL players, but where is the next Ryan Getzlaf or Corey Perry in the Canes system? Where is the 6'4" power forward with soft hands, breakaway speed and a burning desire to knock somebody's block off? The Getzlaf, Staal x 3 and Malkin physique is the future of hockey, but those frames are still a bit hard to come by. Joe Barnes has the body, but he apparently lacks the modern power forward psyche. Centerman Bobby Hughes is getting a lot of love as a tough playmaker, but he's listed generously at 5'11".

I'd look for the Canes to try and pick up a forward with the #11 pick in the first round of this summer's draft. James Van Riemsdyk of the USNTDP might be the Getzlaf-next in this draft, but according to the scouts at Red Line Report, he's still got some maturin' to do. Another kid who looks good in html, is a big mean defenseman with a big shot by the name of Nick Petrecki.

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