You knew it was coming – the first of obligatory posts about who to keep an eye on on the Checkers.
Justin Peters: After Boucher’s adventures in being injured All The Damn Time, Peters stepped in for a few games last year. My biggest memory of him is the time he stopped 40+ shots by the Penguins and the Canes still lost the game, which tells you more about the Hurricanes’ defense than Peters himself. Peters, though, is a solid goalie who most people expect to be the Canes’ backup this coming year (however long this year is). He’s got a very utilitarian goaltending style, but “serviceable” still stops a lot of shots, and he’s already been more reliable than Boucher.
Jeremy Welsh: 6’3″, young, and a center – I don’t think anyone really thought he wouldn’t at least be given a chance to take the 3C position on the Hurricanes. Defensive responsibility is something Checkers’ coach Jeff Daniels does his best to drill into the minds of all of his players, and it’s, obviously, something a potential 3C needs.
Zac Dalpe: Ah, Dalpe. An enigma who spent significant time last year mucking around on the third and fourth lines, Dalpe’s been called mediocre as often as he’s been called a potential Top 6 forward. His development really slowed last year, but it’s been a long summer and there’s no real reason he won’t have a breakout season with the Checkers, and be fighting for a roster spot on the Hurricanes whenever the season starts.