It was a bad opening weekend for the Hurricanes, but one thing that fans can perhaps take solace in is that their CHL prospects all had terrific weeks for the most part. What does this mean? Well, not a whole lot in the grand scheme of things but it's hard not to get excited when you hear that one of your team's prospects had four goals in three games like Brock McGinn did for the Guelph Storm this weekend. It took McGinn awhile to get going offensively but he has been on quite a roll these past few weeks and is on fire and has now pushed his point total up to 34 in 45 games. Not the best for a junior player but a vast improved compared to where it was earlier in the year.
While Keegan Lowe didn't have four goals like McGinn, he did have three points in three games for the Edmonton Oil Kings this past week including a pair of goals. One of the goals came shorthanded in Edmonton's blowout win over Red Deer and the other was their only strike of the competition in a 2-1 loss to Medicine Hat. With the Oil Kings getting most of their top players back from the WJC ending, it's great to see Lowe continuing to perform well.
Speaking of which, the two Carolina players who were in the WJC had two points in two games this week, as Ryan Murphy notched a pair of assists for the Kitchener Rangers and Victor Rask had a goal and an assist for the Calgary Hitmen. Both of Murphy's assists came in one game, as he was inactive for the Kitchener's first game of the week due to being in Carolina's training camp but he appears to have rebounded after a tough showing at the Wolrd Juniors. Rask's two points came in a 5-3 win over Prince George's as he has not missed a beat since missing a week after the World Juniors.
Also in action this week was Tyler Stahl of the Victoria Royals, who picked up two assists but his penalty record may have been more impressive. He had 14 penalty minutes in three games and all but one of them were roughing calls. Obviously this isn't a good thing since penalties never are, but it's something I can't recall seeing in recent history. At least Stahl is getting some points to go along with his "impressive" penalty numbers.
Carolina's two prospects fro the Plymouth Whalers had uneventful weeks for the most part as defenseman Austin Levi was held pointless in both games and Matt Mahalak allowed six goals on 40 shots. He was also chased in Plymouth's 7-3 loss to Sault Ste. Marie after allowing four goals. It sounds like he might see some time on the bench since the Whalers have been riding the hot hand in goal this year for the most part.
On that note, Carolina's other goaltending prospect, Daniel Altshuller of the Oshawa Genearls, did not start any of his team's games this week and Trevor Carrick was also inactive for the Mississauga Steelheads. Although he is out for injury reasons.
So aside from Levi, every Carolina CHL prospect who played this weekend recorded at least two points in two or more games, which could make this past weekend less of a stinker for Hurricanes fans.
Not sure if comparing a shut down defenseman to offensive d-men on points tallied gives an accurate assessment. Based purley on stats, I'd say Lowe is having the strongest season of the non-AHL bunch. In 40 games he has 21 points, 104 PIM, and is plus 19. Levi is second is plus/minus with +10 in 35 games although he only has 6 points on the board with 26 PIM. Murphy has similar numbers, but as expected, he has more points (26).