The Carolina Hurricanes reached the playoffs once again in 2020, and they’ll be looking to get back in for the third straight season in 2021. The team has some appealing young players of note, plus they are continuing to build a strong roster that can compete now and in the future.
But the goaltending issues for the team will be a problem, as our NHL predictions on the Canes will reveal. The Hurricanes will be a thrilling team to watch and will make it into the playoffs, but they aren’t in the elite class of teams in the East yet.
How the Team Looks
The Hurricanes have some outstanding young players to watch, especially on offense. Sebastian Aho, Andrei Svechnikov, and Teuvo Teravainen all scored at least sixty points last season. Martin Necas also saw some improvement this past year.
The Canes also brought in Jesper Fast from the New York Rangers this offseason. Ryan Suzuki, the team’s first-round pick from last season, may also make an appearance on the roster late in the season.
The team’s defense has been building up in the past few years, with Brady Skjei making a quick impact after coming to the team from the New York Rangers. Dougie Hamilton missed a substantial portion of last season with a leg injury, but he will be ready to start the upcoming season when it begins. 22-year-old defensive prospect Jake Bean may also reach the roster in Raleigh this season, although he could be left open for the Seattle expansion draft.
We appreciate y’all so much here’s a throwback to one year ago today when Svech scored the 2nd lacrosse goal in NHL history pic.twitter.com/1YJSzbTdJ1
— Carolina Hurricanes (@Canes) December 17, 2020
The Hurricanes’ roster will be ready to recover from the roster turnover it saw this offseason. Joel Edmundson left for the Montreal Canadiens, and forward Justin Williams retired this summer.
The Goaltending Question
The greatest concern for the Hurricanes comes from the goaltending situation. The team gave up 2.84 goals per game last year. Petr Mrazek and James Reimer will remain the team’s two goaltenders, but they have both been subject to multiple trade rumors.
Mrazek is in his contract year, and the team could consider a prospect like Alex Nedeljkovic or Beck Warm as a replacement for the future. But general manager Don Waddell has expressed more interest in finding someone who can start for the team right now. The Hurricanes have a solid farm system, but whether Waddell is willing to dip into the team’s prospects with the Chicago Wolves remains unclear.
Where Will the Hurricanes Finish In their Division?
We predict that the Carolina Hurricanes will reach the playoffs in 2021. We find they will finish in second place behind the Tampa Bay Lightning in the Central Division. The Hurricanes have a firm roster that will continue to remain competitive for years, although the goaltending situation remains a question to spot.
How Far Will The Canes Go In the Playoffs?
We also predict that the Hurricanes will reach the second round of the playoffs. They should knock off a team like the Minnesota Wild or the Philadelphia Flyers, but it will be tough for them to compete against a top-tier club like the Tampa Bay Lightning or the Boston Bruins.
But the Hurricanes have a foundation intact that will remain competitive for years to come. Take a look at the Hurricanes if you’re interested in a team to watch when planning your NHL predictions.
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Image by: Doug Kerr