It feels kind of silly to review the season of Zac Dalpe because he played only 10 games for the Hurricanes and missed almost all of the month of March with the Charlotte Checkers. However, what was also silly was the fact that Dalpe only got 10 games in the NHL to begin with because his performance with the big club was pretty impressive. Yes, I know that his stat line of one goal and three points over 10 games indicate that he didn't make much of an impact, but Dalpe's actual performance was much more impressive than what his boxcar stats indicate and he could have easily played more than 10 NHL games this year.
With his entry-level contract expiring and his 24th birthday on the horizon, the Hurricanes are going to need to make a few decisions regarding Dalpe in the upcoming months and it will all come down to whether or not they feel he has a future in this organization. One could say that Dalpe's been given plenty of chances, but I'm not sure if you can close the book on a prospect when he has played only 41 games over 3 years. Not when at least half of those games came with him playing in a fourth line role. Anyone who has followed the Hurricanes knows that the development of some of their forward prospects has been frustrating and while it has improved since Kirk Muller took over, there are still players who haven't been given much of a shot in the NHL and I think Dalpe falls into that category.
I'll admit that Dalpe wasn't very impressive during his first two years in the NHL and he looked out of place then, but a lot changed this year. Dalpe has been a strong AHL player for the last three years and we finally got to see him carry some of this over to the NHL this year and hopefully it's enough for the team to keep him around for another couple of years. Dalpe isn't a future star like some hope he will be, but his performance in the AHL and with the Canes this year gives me confidence that he can be a useful NHL player and not another Boychuk.
After the jump we'll go over some of the odds and ends of Dalpe's time with the Hurricanes and what the future holds for him.no comments