The Carolina Hurricanes not only ended their playoff drought last season, but managed to get themselves all the way to the Eastern Conference Finals. It was a run that put the Hurricanes back on the map in the East and solidified them as a quality team.
Their lineup also didn’t look nearly as good as it does right now, especially up front.
Here’s Carolina’s forward lineup from the first game against Washington in last year’s playoffs:
The only notable losses here are Micheal Ferland, who left in free agency and Lucas Wallmark, who was dealt at this year’s trade deadline. Greg McKegg also left for New York over the summer, but that was a pretty insignificant departure.
The biggest additions are Vincent Trocheck and Martin Necas. I’d also say that while it’s not a direct addition, Andrei Svechnikov’s development has turned him into a much more capable player, to the point where he can kind of be included here. Between the three, the Hurricanes essentially got half of a top-six forward group that they didn’t have last year.
Warren Foegele is also in a similar situation to Svechnikov, where he’s much more able to produce than he was last season. We can then include Ryan Dzingel as an addition in the top-nine, who was brought over in the offseason and kind of cancels out the loss of Ferland.
Considering Jordan Martinook and Brock McGinn were both on the third line last season and the duo will now potentially make up two-thirds of the fourth line, it’s pretty exciting to see how much more depth the Hurricanes have this year.
Carolina has bulked up their forward group to be much stronger both in the top-six and bottom-six. When you remember the Hurricanes made a run to the Conference Finals with last year’s lineup, it’s reasonable to get excited about what they may be able to accomplish in this year's postseason.
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Here’s today’s poll question (results and discussion will be posted in a future article):
Carolina's biggest addition to the forward group is: