HURRICANES

Way Too Early Predictions: Hurricanes

Cover Photo Credit: Gregg Forwerck/Carolina Hurricanes

It’s extremely slow in the Raleigh sports scene as we wait for the weekend’s next set of soccer matches. So I figured we might as well try to predict the upcoming Hurricanes season. Below I provide the definitive guide to how the season will unfold with team and individual play.

Top Goal Scorer:

This one is a little easier than I thought. It’s going to be Jeff Skinner. Skinner will be right around the 35-40 goal mark, but will be helped out with increased scoring from Tuevo Teravainen and Sebastian Aho. Also, Justin Williams adding in 20-25 goals can’t hurt. I figured Aho could push Skinner for the top goal scorer this season, but I’m not ready to put those expectations on the second year player.

Biggest Badass:

Credit: Gregg Forwerck/Carolina Hurricanes

I think this is going to surprise some people but its got to be Elias Lindholm. Towards the end of last year Lindholm decided he wasn’t going to take shit from opposing teams and showed them he had no problem being physical. He’ll continue that trend but will increase his goal scoring and continue being a assist machine. Combine his physicality for a top 6 forward and add in 55 points and he is your Raleigh Badass.

Biggest Surprise:

Tuevo Tervainen. Turbo will not only star in the Raleigh based cop sitcom ‘Turbo to Turbo’ featuring North Carolina FC’s Connor “Turbo” Tobin but will increase his goal scoring by 10-15 goals in the 2017-2018 season. Expect Turbo to break the 50 point barrier and become ole reliable on the second/third line. Get it Turbo.

Most Improved:

I’m going with Joakim Nordstorm. Nordstorm’s point production dropped from 24 to 12 last season but I think he’s bound to make a comeback this year. Nordstrom will lock down the fourth line spot and will see an increase in production with the addition of Marcus Kruger. Expect Nordstrom to net 20-26 points in the 2017-2018 season

Best Defenseman

Obviously there’s been a lot of hype around our blue liners and a fair amount of debate on who is the top d-man in Raleigh. Well, believe it or not, we do follow advanced stats and came up with our own stat called “Savage.” Basically, it combines three different statistical categories (its proprietary) to determine the best all around defenseman.

The score ranges from 20-50. It starts at 20 because just making the NHL means you are at least some sort of a savage. It stops at 50 because everybody stops at 100. Take a look at the below chart to see how the Hurricanes rank. As you can see Hayden Fleury has a 20 because he hasn’t played an NHL game yet, but we’re assuming he makes the roster this year.

 

Raleigh City Sports Stats Group Inc

As you can see Justin Faulk and Jaccob Slavin are at the top of our rankings. Faulk gets the slight edge because a sick slap shot factors heavily in the Savage rating.

Verdict: Justin Faulk will continue to score at the same rate as he has over the last four years but he will clean up his +/-  this season.

Regular Season Outcome:

The Hurricanes will make their first playoffs since 2009. The Canes will earn 96 points and enter the playoffs as the 7th seed. From there it’s a new season.