The Carolina Hurricanes are hosting their annual training camps, inviting rostered players, prospects and camp invitees for three weeks of practice and preseason games before finalizing its roster for the opening day of the regular season on Oct. 3.
The team invited 51 players to day one of its training camp and has already trimmed that number down to 48 after three days. Training camp offers the coaching staff an opportunity to not only work with and help develop the players, but also to assess their current levels and how they might fit onto the team.
After three days, a few players have already set themselves apart from the rest and are having a tremendous showing. Granted, what is seen at camp cannot be expected to translate to regular-season play, but a showcasing of their skills and talents helps to visualize who may be ready and who may not.
In terms of line combinations seen at camp, Hurricanes head coach Rod Brind’Amour said to not infer that the lines at camp will be the same as those seen in the regular season “unless you want to get a headache.”
With that out of the way, here are a few of the players who have had a strong showing in the first three days of training camp.
The Canes first-round selection in the 2014 NHL entry draft has improved his game in nearly every aspect. By far the biggest surprise in training camp, Fleury has shown a physical edge to his game that has been absent from his previous NHL play. At 6-foot-3, Fleury has the size to be a solid defenseman and has shown great progress, especially in one-on-one drills.
Even more, Fleury was showing a bit of an offensive game, with a few snipes and shootout moves that build on a sense of belief that the defenseman can finally score his first career NHL goal. Knowing he was potentially fighting for a roster spot due to the Hurricanes' ample amount of defensive talent, Fleury has shown he may be ready to finally assert himself as a solid NHL defenseman.
After trade rumors with the Anaheim Ducks leaked that a deal was in place to send Faulk to Anaheim in exchange for the Ducks young Czech forward Ondrej Kase, Faulk has seemingly stepped up his game. Obviously playing with a chip on his shoulder, Faulk has shown a higher level of tenacity and competition in practices and is hoping to prove he is worth having on the team. Look for him to be a strong performer in the regular season.
Svechnikov’s shooting has somehow improved despite the already near-elite level he was at last season. The 2018 second-overall pick is blowing past defenders and one-arming them off himself. His speed and strength have blossomed in his second year as he has learned to utilize his strengths.
The Hurricanes acquired the Finnish forward in an offseason trade from the Vegas Golden Knights, where he had been out since Nov. 6, 2018 after sustaining a knee injury from an in-game hit. Haula underwent major knee surgery and was close to returning before Vegas was eliminated from the playoffs.
Now a member of the Hurricanes, Haula has shown that he has essentially fully recovered from the injury. He’s fast and confident with the puck. Haula has a good shot and is working well when paired with young forwards Martin Necas and Warren Foegele. He already seems comfortable in the room as well, joking around with the other players.
Dzingel signed with Carolina as a free agent after finishing out last season with the Columbus Blue Jackets. The forward is also touted for his speed, and he was showing it off in training camp. Look for him to be a scoring threat, as he was paired with Sebastian Aho and Nino Niederreiter as a potential replacement for semi-retired forward Justin Williams with much more speed.
Aho looks good right out of the gate, skating and shooting well and with lots of energy. With a huge paycheck pocketed from this summer’s only offer sheet where Carolina matched what the Montreal Canadiens tabled, Aho seems prepared to show that he was worth every penny.
The forward is heading into his second year with the Canes after signing a two-year extension. Martinook has solidified himself as a fan favorite and one of the hardest workers on the team. After playing through injuries in the playoffs last season, it seems he has fully recovered and is skating and hollering up and down the ice.
Necas has developed into a promising forward, with not only an elite playmaking sense but also a wicked shot. Setting himself in the left circle, Necas could potentially be a power play threat given his usage. He took a hard fall into the boards early on the third day and left the ice holding his hip, but he returned to the ice and seemed fine.
Bishop looks fast and composed out on the ice. With the time he spent with the club last year, Bishop is sure to have helped his development and overall game, and he looks like he could still be high in the call-up list for Brind’Amour.