At the start of the season, the Hurricanes elected to keep Derek Joslin on their main roster as one of nine eligible defensemen. This looks like an excessive amount but keeping Joslin on the big club was a very smart move in the end. He is signed to a cheap contract and couldn't be sent to the AHL without passing through waivers first, and the team felt that he would be needed sooner or later. He spent the first month of the season in the press-box but Joslin eventually became a regular part of the lineup during the second half of the season, but as a forward and not a defenseman.
With both the Hurricanes and the Charlotte Checkers having a lot of injuries to forwards, depth was desperately needed and Kirk Muller turned to Joslin for that reason in February. It was the first time he had ever played forward in years but his size, decent shot and willingness to get involved physically gave Muller the idea that he would be a good fit for the team's fourth line. This idea did not sound horrible at first and his line with Anthony Stewart & Tim Brent was very popular with fans, but the truth is that Joslin is much better when he is playing his natural position on the blue line.
Joslin isn't the most talented or most effective player in the world, but he is serviceable as a 6th or 7th defenseman. As a forward, he does more harm than good for the Canes and his scoring chance numbers plummeted after he switched positions. We will look at those numbers after the jump.no comments