The Canes will finished up play today in the Traverse City (Mich) rookie tournament with a 4-2 loss to the host Red Wings and finished eighth. But the event is more about talent evaluation that results on the ice.
General manager Jim Rutherford said today defensemen Justin Faulk and Ryan Murphy have been the two most impressive prospects. That's not a big surprise -- Faulk joined the Charlotte Checkers for the AHL playoffs last season after helping Minnesota-Duluth win an NCAA title as a freshman, and Murphy was the 12th overall pick of this year's NHL Entry Draft.
Murphy starred for the Kitchener Rangers (OHL) last season and arguably was the best offensive-minded defenseman in the 2011 draft. Many have wondered if he can follow the lead of his former Kitchener teammate, Jeff Skinner, and make the jump from junior hockey to the Hurricanes this year at 18.
Rutherford isn't ruling anything out but said the comparison was not "apples to apples."