Hanifin, 18, was Carolina’s first-round pick (fifth overall) at the 2015 NHL Entry Draft. According to the club, the injury isn’t severe and he should be healthy enough to participate at training camp later this month.
That the ‘Canes are exercising caution with Hanifin isn’t a surprise.
Even though he only turned 18 this year and has just his freshman season of collegiate hockey on his resume, the former Boston College standout is expected to challenge for spot on Carolina’s blueline.
“We certainly think with his skating ability and his size, he has the potential to step in and play, but we’re certainly not going to rush him in that regard,” GM Ron Francis told the team’s website recently. “I think if you look at history, a lot of young defensemen take a little longer to develop.
“There have been more and more (defensemen) recently that have been able to step in and not only contribute, but have tremendous success.”
The ‘Canes begin their Traverse City play this Friday against the Red Wings. OHL Sault Ste. Marie blueliner Tyler Ganly has been added to the roster in Hanifin’s absence.