MORRISVILLE, NC. – Summer is officially over and Carolina Hurricanes hockey is back.
The team’s up-and-coming talent took on the Florida Panthers on the first day of the Prospect Showcase presented by Invisalign and although there were some positives, the group found themselves on the wrong end of a 6-1 score.
1) Ponomarev’s Flashy Setup
The action started on the right foot for the young bunch, as forwards Vasily Ponomarev and Noel Gunlerboth who finished last season with the Chicago Wolves, connected for a sweet goal to start the day.
After a defensive zone breakout, Ponomarev caught a Panthers defender flat-footed and made himself a nice highlight from there.
1-1 after one period of play at Invisalign Arena.
Tea #Canes got on the board first after a nasty toe drag by Vasily Ponomarev allowed him to walk right through a Florida defender and put one on the tape of Noel Gunler for a slam dunk. 🏀 pic.twitter.com/CVj34C8Atk
– Walt Ruff (@WaltRuff) September 16, 2022
2) Goalie Go Halves
2021 third-round draft selection Patrik Hamrla got the start in net for Carolina in the contest, playing the first 31 minutes.
His team was shorthanded during that time on four occasions, resulting in him being faced with a bevy of rubber. Before his morning came to a close he had allowed two goals, but it could have been much worse.
Just after the midway point of the second period Hamrla was relieved by Jakub Vondras, a 2022 sixth-round pick of the organization. For Vondras it was his first game action on North American ice – a considerably smaller surface than what he’s been used to in Czechia. He was on the hook for the final four goals of the day, however, his experience gained is truly more of value than today’s final stat line.
3) A Very Noticeable Rees
Forward Jamieson Rees thrust himself onto the radar of Canes fans during last year’s preseason, where he had a fantastic showing. Now nearly 365 days later he’s wearing the “C” for the prospects in just his second full-length pro season.
#81 was all over the ice Friday morning, trying to seemingly insert himself in every situation possible. He was throwing hits, taking hits, attempting to mix it up with Panthers in any area.
With the experience of having won a Calder Cup in Chicago last year, combined with his knowledge of an NHL Training Camp, Rees will be a player to keep an eye on over the next week or so.
They Said It
Chicago Wolves Head Coach Brock Sheahanwho led the unit behind the bench:
“I thought we actually started really well. We saw some execution in some of the details that we had given them, but when you start giving up a lot of odd-man rushes and make it tough on your goalies, [it’s not good]. We’ll get better from there.”
Rees offering his thoughts on the contest and what he expects moving forward:
“We’ve only had two days of practice and obviously didn’t go the way we wanted it to, but we’re still getting to know each other. We’ll regroup with our day off tomorrow and we’ll be back at it Sunday. Hopefully, we’ll be better and play a cleaner game.”
- 2019 first-round selection (#28 overall) ryan suzuki did not play for Carolina today. He is listed on the team’s roster but is not expected to play in the Showcase due to an upper-body injury.
- The Canes prospects will return to action Sunday morning against Nashville at 10 am The game will take place at PNC Arena and admission is free. All games are also available to stream live on Hurricanes.com. To learn more about attending the event, click here.
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