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Blues vs. Hurricanes
Tracking the Storm

Canes, Rask Have Options for Next Season

Saturday, 06.25.2011 / 4:07 PM / Tracking the Storm
By Paul Branecky
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Canes, Rask Have Options for Next Season
The Hurricanes used their second-round pick on a European-based player, but it’s not clear how much longer he’ll remain there.

Paul Branecky
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General Manager Jim Rutherford believes that Swedish center Victor Rask, the 42nd overall pick in the 2011 draft, may elect to come to North America next season, perhaps to play for the American Hockey League’s Charlotte Checkers – something North American picks aren’t able to do until they’re 20.

“Earlier I talked to his agent, and his agent felt he was coming to North America,” said Rutherford.” Part of that was possibly getting an earlier contract done with him, which we’re willing to talk about. We have to look into this a little bit more."

Rutherford admits that there have been some conflicting reports about Rask’s intentions, including from the player himself, who following his selection on Saturday told the gathered media that he planned to sign a contract in the Swedish Elite League. Should that occur, Rutherford said that the Hurricanes would hold no hard feelings.

“If he goes back to Sweden and plays for a year or two, that’s still good for his development,” said Rutherford. “That really doesn’t affect how we view his future.”

At the very least, Rask is expected to attend the Hurricanes’ prospect camp in July as well as the team’s main camp in September in an attempt to make the team. While it’s not clear that he’d be able to accomplish that feat so soon after being drafted, the Canes, who appear to be just as pleased about this second-round pick as other recent choices, believe he’s on the right track.

“He’s a very skilled centerman, a great puck distributor with a good shot and quick release,” said Hurricanes Director of Amateur Scouting Tony MacDonald. “He’s good in the faceoff circle and is a very intelligent hockey player with a lot of speed and a lot of skill.

“You don’t want to say we stole him, but we were pretty pleased he was there for us in the second round.”

From the beginning of the year on, the Hurricanes felt that Rask would be a first-round selection. MacDonald said that the reason Carolina was able to grab him in the second could have been due to some inconsistencies throughout the season, including a rocky period in which he went down to the Swedish second division to earn more ice time. Rask then experienced what MacDonald called an “adjustment period,” finishing with 11 points (5g, 6a) in 37 games with Leksand of the lower division.

However, a strong finish helped his cause.

“In some of the tournaments he was a little inconsistent, but in the end had an outstanding under-18 tournament,” said MacDonald, referring to Rask’s 5-point performance (2g, 3a) in six games for Sweden.

Despite his skills, Rutherford did express some caution about Rask’s readiness to play in the AHL, calling it an “option” rather than something he knows he wants to do.

“That’s a big jump, and it’s a much bigger jump than people think,” said Rutherford. “We all saw Jeff Skinner have a phenomenal year last year and jump to the NHL, but there are not many guys that can do that. Even to go to the American Hockey League and play at a young age is pretty tough.

“We just have to walk through this week by week and see what’s best for him.”

Rutherford said that he expects the Hurricanes' other European-based draft pick from Saturday, center Gregory Hofmann, to remain in his native Swiss league for the last year of his contract next season.


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EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 NYI 47 32 14 1 155 130 65
2 DET 48 28 11 9 144 123 65
3 TBL 49 30 15 4 158 131 64
4 MTL 46 30 13 3 126 108 63
5 PIT 48 27 13 8 143 124 62
6 WSH 48 25 14 9 144 124 59
7 NYR 45 27 14 4 135 110 58
8 BOS 48 25 16 7 126 121 57
9 FLA 45 20 15 10 111 127 50
10 TOR 49 22 23 4 143 152 48
11 OTT 46 19 18 9 126 128 47
12 PHI 49 20 22 7 134 149 47
13 CBJ 46 21 22 3 117 145 45
14 NJD 48 18 22 8 109 135 44
15 CAR 47 17 25 5 102 122 39
16 BUF 48 14 31 3 90 171 31

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
E. Staal 42 16 14 -6 30
J. Faulk 47 9 19 -13 28
E. Lindholm 47 9 11 -11 20
J. Tlusty 40 12 7 -11 19
J. Skinner 42 10 9 -7 19
R. Nash 47 7 12 -4 19
N. Gerbe 43 5 13 -3 18
V. Rask 47 6 9 -10 15
A. Sekera 45 1 14 -6 15
C. Terry 34 6 3 -3 9
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
A. Khudobin 6 8 2 .918 2.30
C. Ward 11 17 3 .911 2.45