The Checkers, down two forwards heading into tomorrow’s game against Grand Rapids, will have those spots filled by players returning from Carolina’s training camp.
On Tuesday afternoon, the Hurricanes reassigned Riley Nash and Jeremy Welsh to Charlotte after brief auditions with the team’s NHL parent club. Welsh had left the Checkers in the initial wave of recalls on Saturday, while Nash spent just one day in Raleigh. Both players took part in the Hurricanes training camp scrimmage earlier in the day on Tuesday.
Both natural centers, Nash and Welsh will fill a giant hole on the Checkers’ roster created by Monday’s recall of Nash, Zac Dalpe and Brett Sutter, who were the team’s top three centers in the team’s most recent game on Sunday. Even with five reinforcements from the ECHL on their roster, the Checkers were only able to use 10 forwards at Tuesday’s practice.
Nash and Welsh will immediately become the second and third highest scorers on the team, respectively, with the likes of Dalpe, Sutter, Zach Boychuk, Drayson Bowman, Justin Faulk and Tim Wallace still with Carolina and Marc-Andre Gragnani and Jerome Samson expected to miss more time due to injury.
Nash, 23, has goals in each of his last two AHL games, including the overtime winner in Houston on Sunday. That point, his 21st in 38 games, allowed him to surpass his total of 20 in 58 games last season. Nash, who played his first five NHL games with Carolina last season, has six points (3g, 3a) in his last six games, marking the best offensive stretch of the season.
Welsh, a 24-year-old rookie, also scored in his most recent AHL game, a 7-0 win over Oklahoma City on Sunday, ending a nine-game point drought and giving him 13 points (6g, 7a) in 37 games. The Union College product made his NHL debut immediately after signing with Carolina last season, playing one game.