When the Carolina Hurricanes won the Stanley Cup in 2006, their record through the first 30 games was 19-9-2. This year, it was 20-7-3, their best record in franchise history.
What makes their record even more impressive is that they did it despite having a lot of injuries. Starting goaltender Petr Mrazek was out for over 30 games, and backup goalies James Reimer and Alex Nedeljkovic played well in his absence. Winger Tuevo Teravainen, one of Carolina’s best players, has also been injured.
Locked into a close race with the Tampa Bay Lightning and Florida Panthers for first place in the central division, with 58 points after 41 games, putting them in first place.
The Hurricanes have a good mix of experienced players and younger players with a lot of talent. Captain Jordan Staal and alternate captain Jordan Martinook have both been with the Canes for a long time and are a big reason the team has had so much success in the last few years. They have brought the team from being one of the worst in the league to being one of the best.
The Canes younger players, like centerman Sebastian Aho and right winger Martin Necas, are a big reason the future remains bright, too. Aho is already the team’s points leader, and they are both good passers, with 21 assists each..
The Canes prospects are looking very promising as well, Alex Nedelkjovic was the AHL’s top goalie in 2019, and in Mrazek’s absence he showed that he can play well in the NHL, with a 9-4-2 record. Now that Mrazek is back, he is the backup goalie, taking Reimer’s spot. First round pick Seth Jarvis was one of the top scorers in his short time with the Chicago Wolves, the team’s AHL affiliate.
The team has had success at the trade deadline before, last year the team brought in centerman Vincent Trocheck, who is now one of the leading scorers on the team. This year the team made a trade with the Anaheim Ducks, trading away defenseman Haydn Fleury for Jani Hakanpaa and a draft pick in next year’s draft. Hakanpaa is a right handed defenseman, which the team needed. He will also bring a physical presence to the team, he has the third most hits in the league, with 168 hits.