The injury bug hit Carolina again earlier this week when it was announced that Tuomo Ruutu would miss three weeks with an "upper-body injury." With the trade deadline approaching and the Hurricanes needing to make a decision on what they want to do with Ruutu in the future, this injury came at the worst time possible. Just to rub salt into the wound, Ruutu has been a key part of the team's first line for the past two months and replacing him with call-ups from the AHL is going to be a tough task.
This did get me thinking about something, though. Which call-ups from Charlotte have seen the most success this year and who is the most likely to land a permanent spot on the Canes? The injury to Ruutu opens up the door for a few players and I would imagine that a few other roster spots will open up after the trade deadline depending on what happens. Carolina has quite a few forward prospects with decent upsides, so using the rest of the season to see if they fit into the team's plans wouldn't be a bad idea.
As of right now, Drayson Bowman and Jerome Samson are the two call-ups who are going to be depended on to replace Ruutu's production and then some. My guess is that both of them will get a look on the first line during the next few weeks as an audition. Both have played in the top-six roles before, so playing with Eric Staal shouldn't be anything too foreign for them. Bowman has seen modest success with the Canes and Samson has only been here for four games this season so the jury is still out on him.
How do Bowman and Samson look outside of their point totals and what other forwards could we expect to see in Raleigh? We'll explore that after the jump.