After impressing fans and coaches at the team's player development camp last month, the Hurricanes have decided to sign Sergey Tolchinsky to a three-year entry level contract. The Russian-born Tolchinsky is coming off a solid season with the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds of the OHL where he posted 54 points in 62 games. He was completely passed over in this year's draft but made an impression in a couple team's development camps and the Hurricanes liked him enough to ink him to an entry-level deal.
For those who missed camp, Tolchinsky was arguably the biggest standout among anyone there. He scored two goals in the mini-scrimmage, was one of the best skaters in camp and displayed a ton of offensive skill, especially when it came to setting up plays. He is a small player and may need to get a little stronger to make the pros, but the kid can play and it was surprising that 30 teams passed over him in the draft, multiple times even. His size really becomes an afterthought when you watch him play because he was that effective both in juniors and at the Canes development camp.
The one thing that was getting in the way of the Hurricanes signing him was that they had to give him to a three-year deal, adding another contract to the reserve list and committing three years to a player who they haven't seen a whole lot of. That's a bit of a gamble for a team with 46-47 contracts already on the books and one thing that kept them from signing defenseman Torey Krug when he was in their camp a couple years ago. They also didn't have much time to sign Tolchinsky because he was in the New York Rangers camp a few weeks prior and already agreed to play for them in the upcoming Traverse City Prospects Tournament. Tolchinsky signing an entry-level deal makes his previous agreement with the Rangers null & void, so he will be suiting up for Carolina in Traverse City instead.
It's possible that Tolchinsky never plays a game for the Hurricanes but I still like the move regardless. The Canes were short a couple draft picks this year but still managed to add a highly talented prospect to their system without giving up anything except a contract on the 50-man roster spot. That really isn't a big deal when you consider that the Hurricanes really need prospect depth right now and just added a player who some projected to go in the first four rounds of this year's draft
Tolchinsky will likely return to Sault Ste. Marie next year and could get a shot with the Charlotte Checkers the following year. He could also be one of the Greyhounds best forwards if his development goes as planned, which will be great news for the Canes long-term future.
|2011-12||CSKA-Krasnaja Armija Moskva||MHL||51||19||15||34||0.667|
|2012-13||Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds||OHL||62||26||25||51||0.823|