If you haven’t heard, I’ve been putting most of my time into the Tracking the Storm Podcast with Brandon Stanley and Alex Ohari. Even though we get to a lot of prospect content on the podcast, some of it gets left out for various reasons. Usually it’s not terribly important. Whether it’s speculation, extra details, or yours truly not wanting to shut up, some of it gets cut or left out entirely. Here, you’ll find some items that I thought about bringing up on various podcast episodes but ultimately decided to cut them at the last minute.
Prospects Used as Trade Chips
With the Hurricanes’ cap situation being what it is, I can’t see the Hurricanes trading for anything more than a rental at the deadline. If that’s the case, it’s likely that the Hurricanes will just be using draft picks to make a deal or two. In the latest podcast episode, we name dropped a few players that I could see the Hurricanes moving at the deadline, assuming the return is worth it. Number one on that list? Morgan Geekie. I love Geekie as a player, but it’s clear that he needs to be played above the fourth line in order to succeed. I’m not convinced that a top nine spot will be available for him anytime soon, so the Hurricanes could send Geekie in the place of a higher draft pick in a trade. This is obviously pure speculation, but I’d imagine that there are a handful of rebuilding teams that have called about Geekie in recent weeks.
Another possible option? Jack Drury. The Hurricanes have a lot of depth at center, and while Drury might be the closest to the NHL, I could see the Canes moving him for the right player. Anttoni Honka was another player that we mentioned, but his odds of getting traded are low. Honka’s trade value has to be high after the season he’s had, but the Hurricanes’ prospect depth on the right side is weak. And despite a strong season on the Liiga’s worst team, Honka is still very divisive amongst NHL scouts. I don’t think Honka gets traded for this reason.
Kevin Wall’s linemate, Aarne Talvitie signed a two year entry-level contract with the New Jersey Devils on March 25, leaving Penn State as a Junior. With Penn State losing a lot of top talent this season, Kevin Wall is going to be relied upon as one of the top offensive threats on his team. The Nittany Lions have an interesting recruiting class coming in, but I don’t see any of the forwards becoming top contributors right away. As a Junior, Wall will have to lead a younger team to success next season. Wall finished with 19 points in 22 games as a sophomore and could improve on those totals with continued growth and (hopefully) a development camp in the summer. Wall wasn’t expected to be a top performer on his team this year, but he was able to stick in a top role and finish second on the team in scoring. It’ll be interesting to see what Wall can accomplish with a full season on Penn State’s top line.
This would never have made a good podcast segment. The whole reason why I even thought of this was because I thought about what Boston University could look like next season. Disclaimer here: this is purely speculation. For context: Webber began his season on the second pair and quickly got demoted to the third pair. He even saw time as a healthy scratch for parts of the season. He should see more ice time next season due to all of the departures on BU’s defense, but here’s what could throw a wrench in all of that. BU has Vegas prospect Braden Doyle and US NTDP defenseman Roman Schmidt coming into the program next season. Webber has the experience advantage, but this could turn into a problem if either player starts to outperform him. So this is why I started speculating. If Webber is not a regular in Boston University’s lineup by the end of next season, I wouldn’t be surprised at all if he seeks a transfer to a different program. At this point, I doubt that happens. I believe in Webber as a prospect and I think that he had a tough time adjusting in a weird year. There’s also the fact that Webber was injured for a large part of the 2019-2020 season and missed close to, if not, a year of hockey due to said injury, shutdowns, and COVID problems within the team.
NCAA Free Agency
NCAA free agency is the most overhyped part of the hockey season, and as a result, I’ve stopped buying into the hype for a lot of these players. That said, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Hurricanes signed another Jacob Pritchard or Jason Cotton this year. There’s no harm in taking a chance on an NCAA free agent, as long as you put yourself in the mindset that they probably won’t be more than a solid depth player at the pro level.
- Do the Hurricanes offer Blake Murray an AHL tryout while they wait for the OHL to start, or does this indicate that they won’t be signing him?
- If Lokomotiv doesn’t win this series, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Hurricanes ended up bringing Korshkov back to the NHL sooner rather than later. He seems like he could be another solid option on the fourth line, even if he has to start on the taxi squad and quarantine.
- Spartak firing their coach concerns me. He wasn’t afraid to give Nikishin top four minutes, and now I’m worried that their new coach will be like every KHL coach ever and not give Nikishin a chance.
- I’m not putting much stock into this WHL season. I’d like to see Jarvis and Seeley do well, but the WHL’s USA division is less than stellar.
- Will Honka sign an ATO with Chicago after his Liiga season ends April 13?
And that’s it! Again, these are all thoughts that I’ve had that would’ve been filler time on the podcast, so I elected to not mention any of these. As much as I’d love to talk about prospects all day, we all know that there are more things to talk about. Have you listened to the podcast yet? If not, check us out on Spotify or Apple Podcasts at Tracking the Storm!