Red and Black Hockey
by David Lee on 09/15/10 at 09:47 PM ET
On Wednesday night, Jeff Skinner was again the star for the Hurricanes prospects as they defeated the Tampa prospects 4-3 in overtime in the third place game of the Traverse City prospects tournament. Young #53 potted the game-winning goal and added an assist, which gives him seven (2/5) points in the four game tournament. Derek Stepan of the Rangers had the same seven point showing, which was tops in the whole tournament.
Matt Kennedy, Justin Shugg and Jared Staal scored one goal each to round out the scoresheet for the Canes.
Surprisingly, Troy Passingham was the netminder for the “Baby Hurricanes”. He doesn’t have a chance of making the roster, even in Charlotte, and after Mike Murphy had an outstanding performance in all three round robin games, it was surprising to see Passingham see any action. Then again, it was only the third place game, so it didn’t really matter much.
Skinner was already sitting pretty in the eyes of the Hurricanes front office and coaching staff. I’d have to think that his stock has gone through the roof and it might now be a situation where the third line center position is his to lose rather than his to earn. Of course training camp has just begun and there are a handful of other players fighting for that spot, so this story hasn’t quite ended.
Carolina will be playing six preseason games plus an exhibition against SKA St. Petersburg of the Kontinental Hockey League. This will give the staff more time to gauge Skinner’s skill set as well as the other guys. Zac Dalpe is also one of the favorites to earn a position on the big team. He already made an immediate splash with Albany after he turned pro this past spring. He tallied seven (6/1) points in nine regular season games and added six (3/3) in eight playoff games for the Rats. This after leading the Ohio State Buckeyes with 45 (21/24) points in 39 regular season games.
Dalpe is eligible for play in the AHL while Skinner is not. Because Skinner is only 18, his options are to sign an NHL contract and play on the big team or to return to Kitchener. It certainly looks like the Kitchener Rangers are already moving along, assuming that he won’t be returning. Obviously, they would welcome him back with open arms, but they’re preparing for it to go the other way.
In 14 days, things will be more clear, and in 21, things should be locked down. Stay tuned.
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About Red and Black Hockey
David Lee is a restaurant manager with an unused degree in political science. He can be found at Carolina Hurricanes games, Scrabble tournaments and indie-rock shows. Sometimes, all in the same day.