AHL signings will push Carolina Hurricanes offense next season
While most of the focus this offseason has been on the Carolina Hurricanes acquiring forwards Jordan Staal and Alexander Semin to add some much needed top-line offensive support, the Hurricanes’ AHL affiliate, the Charlotte Checkers, have also bolstered their offense by resigning many key players for the upcoming 2012-2013 season.
These signings will greatly benefit both the Checkers and the Carolina Hurricanes because they will provide the NHL club with talented role players, while giving the Charlotte experienced players to lead their young players throughout the season.
The Charlotte Checkers specifically signed Drayson Bowman, Zack Boychuck, Jerome Sampson, Brett Sutter, Brody Sutter and Chris Terry this offseason, and all of these players will play important roles at either the NHL or AHL level this upcoming season.
Drayson Bowman, Zack Boychuk, Jerome Sampson and Brett Sutter all split time between the NHL and AHL during the 2011-2012 campaign, while Brody Sutter and Chris Terry spent the entire season last year at the AHL level.
Bowman, who signed a two-year deal worth $105,000 at the AHL level (or $600,000 at the NHL level), scored six goals and added seven assists (13 total points) in 37 games with the Hurricanes last season (all career highs). Additionally, he compiled 13 goals and 13 assists (26 total points) in 42 games played with the Charlotte Checkers during the 2011-2012 season. Boychuk, who inked a one-year deal worth $105,000 at the AHL level (or $625,000 at the NHL level), recorded two assists in 16 NHL games this past season.
Although Canes fans have been patient with Boychuk’s development, it is important to note that he led the Checkers in offense with 21 goals and 23 assists (44 total points) in 64 games played this past season.
Sampson, who signed a one-year contract worth $105,000 at the AHL level and $600,000 at the NHL level (with $175,000 guaranteed), scored two goals and notched three assists (five total points) in 16 games played this past season with the Carolina Hurricanes. He also tallied 20 goals and 17 assists (37 total points) in 57 GP with the Checkers. Brett Sutter, who signed a one-year contract worth $105,000 at the AHL level and $550,000 at the NHL level (with $150,000 guaranteed), dished out three assists in 15 games played at the NHL level last season. He also scored 13 goals and recorded 16 assists (29 total points) in 63 games played with the Checkers.
Brody Sutter, who signed a three-year entry level contract worth $55,000 per season at the AHL level or $525,000 per season at the NHL level (with a $105,000 signing bonus), scored 30 goals and 30 assists in 65 games with the Lethbridge Hurricanes of the Western Hockey League (WHL) this past season. Chris Terry, who signed a two-year contract worth $105,000 at the AHL level or $525,000 at the NHL level, tallied 16 goals and a team leading 43 assists (59 total points) in 74 games played this past season.
Both of these players should have great seasons with the Checkers in 2013 and fans should look to see both of them playing at the NHL level soon as each of these players will be young guns to watch for seasons to come. Furthermore, they provide much needed insurance in case the current Hurricanes’ forward group fails to gel or produce consistently. For example, if Semin or anyone else in the top-6 turns out to have a bad season, look for one of these signings to step up and fill in as a capable offensive replacement forward group next season.
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