Three more Checkers players joined Carolina Hurricanes training camp on Monday.
Forwards Zac Dalpe, Riley Nash and Brett Sutter are on their way to Raleigh to join the NHL team as it prepares to start its season on Saturday, bringing the total number of Charlotte players in Raleigh to nine. Two days earlier, Carolina recalled forwards Drayson Bowman, Zach Boychuk, Tim Wallace and Jeremy Welsh, defenseman Bobby Sanguinetti and goalie Dan Ellis from the Checkers.
It’s possible that some of those players could rejoin the Checkers in time for Wednesday’s game against Grand Rapids, which marks the start of a three-game home stand. If that’s not the case, the Checkers, depending on the health of a few injured players, may need to add two extra forwards to offset the loss of Monday’s recalls, who were the team’s top three centers for wins on Saturday and Sunday.
The Checkers, currently on a five-game winning streak that ties a franchise record, already have nine players on their roster that started the season in the ECHL, not including forward Matt Beca, who they reassigned to ECHL South Carolina earlier Monday. Even if Carolina does not return any players in time for the first of back-to-back games against the Griffins, the return of injured forwards Nicolas Blanchard and Jerome Samson might prevent them from adding more.
The three newest Hurricanes have all enjoyed a productive few days since not making the initial trip to Carolina with six of their teammates. Dalpe has nine points in his last five games (5g, 4a), Nash has goals in each of his last two, including the overtime winner on Sunday, while Sutter scored a key goal in a comeback win on Saturday.
If the roster stays as presently constructed and no players return from injury, the Checkers would be without 11 of their top 12 scorers. With 24 points, Chris Terry would be the new top scorer, with defensemen Michal Jordan and Justin Krueger behind him with nine apiece.