The impending lockout is going to make a lot of AHL teams very happy with their sudden influx of talent. For instance, the Carolina Hurricanes affiliate in Charlotte.
The Canes sent down 28 players to their farm team and chief amongst them was 2011 Calder Trophy winner Jeff Skinner. Joining Skinner in Charlotte will be breakout young defenseman Justin Faulk as well as last year’s college signing Jeremy Welsh.
Skinner getting sent down comes off looking startling considering his rapid success in the league, but the kid is just 20 years-old and coming off a season that saw him miss 28 games to injury. Even after missing that many games he still scored 20 goals and added 24 assists.
Faulk was the Hurricanes’ leader in average time on ice and doing that as a rookie is stunning. In 66 games he scored eight goals from the blue line and instantly became a top player.
Seeing those two along with Welsh in the AHL should help make Charlotte an instantly fun team to keep an eye on during the lockout.