The Carolina Hurricanes confirmed their fears on Tuesday (March 14) afternoon, as general manager Don Waddell announced that forward Andrei Svechnikov would be out for the remainder of the season due to a torn ACL. This is a devastating blow to the Hurricanes’ postseason hopes, as he currently sits second on the team in points with 55 and third in goals with 23. Their offense has been sputtering of late, scoring one goal in their last three games combined including a 3-0 shutout loss to their Metropolitan foe the New Jersey Devils.
“After further consultation with global experts in this field, it has been determined that the best course of action for Andrei’s future is to have this surgery, and to have it done by our team orthopedist, Dr. Marty Isbell…We’re confident that Andrei will make a full recovery.”
This injury announcement comes almost two months after Carolina suffered the loss of forward Max Pacioretty to a season-ending Achilles tear. It will be tough for the Hurricanes to overcome both of these injuries down the stretch with the postseason looming. It’s imperative that a few players step up in the absence of Svechnikov as they attempt to outlast the Devils for the Metropolitan Division crown in the short term and contend for the Stanley Cup in the long term. Here are a couple of Hurricanes’ forwards that will need to rise to the occasion in the coming months to keep these hopes alive.
The first player that came to my mind in the moments following the announcement of Svechnikov’s season-ending injury was Jesse Puljujarvi. The Hurricanes acquired him in a trade with the Edmonton Oilers on March 1. The 24-year-old forward struggled to get things going this season in Edmonton, producing just five goals and nine assists in 58 games. However, many believe a fresh start in Carolina could be just what he needs to get his promising young career back on track.
Puljujarvi had a promising season for the Oilers in 2021-22 finishing with 36 points (14 goals, 22 assists), setting career highs in points and assists. With the loss of Svechnikov, it’s likely that Puljujarvi will permanently take his spot on the first line alongside Sebastian Aho and Seth Jarvis. Hurricanes head coach Rod Brind’Amour and company are counting on him to gain some confidence next to his fellow countryman, Aho, and produce at a much more…
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