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Who Hurricanes players say is headed for a breakout season, and why the coach disagrees

·3 min read

Jaccob Slavin was the first to say it, and Jordan Martinook later had the same thought.

The Carolina Hurricanes’ two alternate captains were asked Friday which Canes player might have a breakout season in 2021-22. Both said forward Martin Necas.

To which Canes coach Rod Brind’Amour, with a slight smile, said, “Wouldn’t you say that was last year, as a breakout year?”

Good point.

Necas, 22, a 2017 first-round draft pick by Carolina, had 41 points in 53 games in for the Canes in 2020-21, his second full NHL season. His 14 goals included three game-winners, two in overtime. He was dynamic at times.

Necas is a blur on the ice. The Czech Republic native can accelerate quickly, leave players in his wake and can score some spectacular did-he-just-do-that kind of goals.

“I feel like he gets faster every year and I don’t know how that happens, because he’s already so fast,” Martinook told the media Friday. “He’s going to go to new heights.”

Brind’Amour, in the first two on-ice practices of training camp, has used Necas on the right wing on Sebastian Aho’s line opposite Nino Niederreiter.

Jarvis battling minor injury

Coming off a strong showing in a prospects showcase event hosted by Tampa Bay, forward Seth Jarvis was hoping for a carryover into the Canes’ training camp.

Jarvis, the Canes’ first-round draft pick in 2020, has not been able to practice the first two days on the ice. Brind’Amour said Friday that Jarvis had “tweaked something,” adding it was “nothing major” although he might be out another couple of days.

Carolina Hurricanes’ Andrei Svechnikov (37) comes to celebrate with teammates Teuvo Teravainen (86) and Sebastian Aho (20) a goal by Aho during the second period of an NHL hockey game in Raleigh, N.C., Monday, May 3, 2021. (AP Photo/Karl B DeBlaker)
Carolina Hurricanes’ Andrei Svechnikov (37) comes to celebrate with teammates Teuvo Teravainen (86) and Sebastian Aho (20) a goal by Aho during the second period of an NHL hockey game in Raleigh, N.C., Monday, May 3, 2021. (AP Photo/Karl B DeBlaker)

Keeping pace

The Canes have done considerable skating in the first few days at PNC Arena, with Brind’Amour urging the players to push themselves and keep the pace high.

Forward Teuvo Teravainen has labored at times to keep up with his skating group, and Brind’Amour was asked Friday if the guy they call “Turbo” was at 100 percent.

“He’s one of those guys that, preseason and training camp, he’d probably vote to not have it,” Brind’Amour said. In other words, not a problem. No. 86 is a gamer.

Having fun

The first practice Friday had most of the young guys, but it was the veteran group that seemed to have the most fun. The group played a little scrimmage, pulling the nets in to the blue lines, and Brady Skjei’s goal to win for the Red team produced a playoff type celebration, Skjei mugged by teammates.

“Today was great,” Brind’Amour said. “There was a lot of life today. I think again it’s just the guys getting more comfortable around each other. Work hard, have fun, that’s what it’s about.”

Uniform update

For those interested in the Canes’ unis this season, they’ll wear red in 22 home games, black in 18 and on Jan. 29 will wear the Whalers green jersey against New Jersey at PNC Arena.

The Canes’ helmets will have a Lenovo decal this season. Lenovo is designated as the team’s “official helmet branding partner.”

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