Jeff Skinner came out flying in his rookie year for the Carolina Hurricanes with 31 goals and 32 assists. He was honored with the Calder Trophy for being rookie of the year. His exciting plays helped the Hurricanes gain a lot of new exposure in the Triangle. Last year Skinner suffered from a concussion and only played 64 games. He still put up 44 points, but some believed he had somewhat of a sophomore slump. Skinner has tremendous offensive skills and regularly leaves Canes fans amazed by his talent. He is healthy this year and should put up huge numbers for the Canes. With the addition of Jordan Staal, Skinner will have another elite player he can play on the same line with. Don’t be surprised if Skinner has his best season so far.
Justin Faulk had a great rookie year for the Canes and was named to NHL’s All-Rookie Team. He totaled eight goals and 14 assists in 66 games. Faulk also led all rookies in average ice time per game. Many could argue he was the Canes best overall defensemen last year. Faulk will be used in all situations this year and likely quarterback the power play. With his NHL experience from last year, Faulk has a good chance of leading the Hurricanes defense in points while still being solid in the defensive zone. Expect Faulk to once again be one of the Hurricanes best defensemen this year.
Zach Boychuk has had a fantastic season so far playing for the Charlotte Checkers in the AHL. He leads the team in points with 32 in 37 games. Boychuk has already impressed the Hurricanes coaching staff in training camp playing well on a line with Eric Staal and Alexander Semin. He is expected to start the season on this top line and this is sure to help him have a strong season. With Boychuk’s speed and offensive ability, there is a good chance he will finally be a skilled top six player for the Hurricanes.