On Sunday, the Carolina Hurricanes sent center Zac Dalpe down to the AHL, recalling Tim Wallace in his place. In six games with the Hurricanes this season, Dalpe had two assists but seemed to have fallen out of favor with the coaching staff. Despite great production at the AHL level he has never been able to stick around at the NHL level for very long, and the team seems to have little patience with him when he isn’t producing.
Dalpe was a second round pick in the 2008 draft, and went on to star for the Ohio State Buckeyes for two seasons before turning pro. He scored 23 goals and 57 points during his rookie AHL season with the Charlotte Checkers, and scored his first three NHL goals in 15 appearances for the Hurricanes. Last season saw him play 16 more games in Carolina, managing a goal and two assists. He had 18 goals and 32 points for the Checkers, finishing sixth in team scoring.
Carolina has no shortage of prospects at the forward positions as Brett Sutter, Jerome Samson, Riley Nash and Chris Terry are all currently in Charlotte but could see time in the NHL this season. This is the last season of Dalpe’s entry-level contract, and after the team showed a willingness to waive Zach Boychuk recently, his time with the organization may be running out. If he gets another shot in Carolina he needs to make the most of it as it could very well be his last.