Down another forward, the Hurricanes have recalled Valentin Zykov from Charlotte.
This marks the first NHL recall for the second-year pro, who joined the Carolina organization just ahead of last season’s traded deadline from Los Angeles in exchange for Hurricanes forward Kris Versteeg.
After an injury kept him out until the final two games of the season with Charlotte last season, Zykov has turned into an offensive force in his first full campaign with the Checkers. The 21-year-old Russian has racked up 15 goals through the first 55 AHL games this season, tying him for second on the Checkers, while his 30 points rank third on the team and more than double his rookie campaign output.
At 6 feet and 209 pounds, Zykov’s big frame has made him a menace in front of opposing goaltenders, where has picked up the majority of his points. That’s especially true on the power play, where his four goals lead all Checkers.
Selected 37th overall in 2013 by the Kings, Zykov has 44 points (22g, 22a) in 100 AHL games with Ontario and Charlotte. Prior to turning pro, the forward racked up 184 points (84g, 100a) in 162 QMJHL games over three seasons with Baie-Comeau and Gatineau, helping lead the former to consecutive QMJHL Finals in 2013 and 2014 and earning the league’s Rookie of the Year award in 2012-13.
With Phil Di Giuseppe joining Brock McGinn on Carolina’s list of injuries, the Hurricanes were forced to play with 11 forwards Tuesday night in Colorado. Their next game comes Thursday night at home against the New York Rangers, kicking off a tough stretch of six games in 10 days.