Center Jesperi Kotkaniemi goes against a New Jersey Devil player during the game in PNC Arena on Thursday, April 28, 2022. The Hurricanes beat the Devils 6-3.

The Carolina Hurricanes wrapped up their preseason schedule on Oct. 4 with a 4-2 loss in Buffalo, but that’s not to say they didn’t see a successful slate of games. Posting a 4-1 preseason record, Carolina made some cuts on Wednesday morning to solidify its training camp roster heading into the regular season opener on Oct. 12. Here are a few takeaways to make note of after the Canes’ preseason performances.

All in all, a successful preseason

The Hurricanes’ first slew of games saw plenty of talent from seasoned veterans and newcomers alike. Carolina scored a whopping 24 goals over five matches, and it wasn’t from old stars alone — center Jesperi Kotkaniemi, for example, posted four points in four preseason appearances.

We won’t know for sure how Carolina’s offensive line will play out against more solidified rosters until the season begins, but the preseason certainly hasn't hurt the Hurricanes’ chances. It’s likely we’ll be seeing more of these newer players on the up-and-up with offensive standouts like center Sebastian Aho or right wing Andrei Svechnikov.

Slavin/Burns duo set to tear things up

If there’s one player who’s managed to exceed even formidable expectations, it’s defenseman Brent Burns. The 37-year-old veteran absolutely crushed the preseason, especially alongside defenseman Jaccob Slavin. In Burns’ two games this preseason, he lent a heavy hand in Carolina outshooting its opponents nearly threefold.

As one of Carolina’s most anticipated newcomers, it’s no surprise that Burns has been performing the way he has. And beyond his defensive prowess, Burns posted three goals and two assists across his back-to-back appearances at PNC Arena.

Noesen, Stepan survive roster cuts

Hurricanes general manager Don Waddell made plenty of cuts after Tuesday night’s loss to the Buffalo Sabres, but a couple of newcomers slipped through the cracks — and for good reason. Forward Malte Stromwall and goaltender Pytor Kochetkov have been assigned to the Chicago Wolves even following some NHL-worthy preseason performances, but center Derek Stepan and right wing Stefan Noesen are slated to join Carolina this regular season.

It’s no surprise, really. Noesen scored one of Carolina’s eight goals in Monday evening’s match against the Columbus Blue Jackets, and he was the first to score in Florida on Sept. 29. Stefan proved himself this preseason after signing to a PTO with the Canes in August, notching three goals across three games over the past few weeks.

Expect to see more of Kotkaniemi and Necas going forward

Although they aren’t strict newcomers, Kotkaniemi and center Martin Necas played well during their preseason matches. Kotkaniemi in particular cracked open the preseason with one goal and three assists. Despite struggling to find his footing last year, Necas looked as smooth on the ice as ever and enters year six with a lot of promise.

Managing Editor

I am a third-year student studying biology with a concentration in technical and scientific communication. I joined Technician as a correspondent in August 2020, and I am currently the Managing Editor.