The Carolina Hurricanes made their second forward recall of the Checkers’ holiday break, bringing up forward Zac Dalpe late Monday night.
Due to an injury suffered by Carolina winger Patrick Dwyer during the team’s 4-2 win over New Jersey that immediately preceded the transaction, Dalpe will return to where he started each of his two professional seasons. Though the 22-year-old has been with the Checkers since mid-November, he went scoreless in nine games in the NHL prior to that before suffering a lower-body injury that curtailed his progress.
Dalpe had been among the Checkers’ best forwards in recent games, including their most recent contest on Dec. 20 in which he ended an eight-game goal drought with a first period tally against Oklahoma City. Including a two-assist performance on Dec. 16, he has three points in his last three games, bringing his total to 8 (4g, 4a) in 16 AHL contests this season. He had also been firing the puck on goal with regularity, recording four or more shots in five of his last six games.
Though he plays center almost exclusively with the Checkers, Dalpe has spent most of his 24 career NHL games on the wing, where he is likely to start during the Hurricanes’ game against Pittsburgh on Tuesday. When the Canes needed a center last week, they turned to Charlotte’s Riley Nash, which could be an indication of who fits where on the NHL depth chart.
There was no immediate word on the severity of Dwyer’s injury, making the duration of Dalpe’s recall indefinite for the time being. The same goes for forward Drayson Bowman, who has topped the 15-minute mark in ice time in each of his last five games in place of the injured Jeff Skinner, whose recovery time from a concussion remains anyone’s guess.
The Checkers return to action on Friday as they begin a two-game road trip through Rockford and Chicago. If they do not get a forward back from Carolina and the injured Cedric McNicoll and Justin Shugg are not ready to return by then, a recall from ECHL Florida may be necessary.