The Carolina Hurricanes have invited 51 players to their main preseason training camp, the team announced Tuesday night -- five goaltenders, 18 defensemen and 28 forwards.
Of the 51 players, 17 competed for the Canes in the Traverse City (Mich.) prospects tournament that ended Tuesday. They are: forwards Phil Di Giuseppe, Patrick Brown, Clark Bishop, Victor Rask, Brock McGinn, Brendan Woods, Sergey Tolchinsky, Brent Pedersen and Carter Sandlak; defensemen Haydn Fleury, Josh Wesley, Dennis Robertson, Trevor Carrick, Kyle Jenkins and Tyler Ganly; and goaltenders Alex Nedeljkovic and Daniel Altshuller.
The Canes begin camp with player physicals Thursday. The first on-ice practice begin Friday at 8:55 a.m. at PNC Arena.
The Canes’ prospects finished 2-2 in Traverse City after a 5-4 overtime loss Tuesday to the Detroit Red Wings in the third-place game, but general manager Ron Francis said he was pleased with his team’s effort in the tournament.
“We had a fairly young team, with five guys on the back end playing in it for the first time,” Francis said. “As a group, I thought we played pretty well.”
Rask, 21, emerged as one of the tournament’s top performers with four goals and four assists in the four games, and should now compete for a roster spot with the Canes.
“He played well all four games,” Francis said. “It wasn’t so much getting the points but how he did it. He has very good hockey sense and was good at both ends of the rink, and on special teams. He was consistent, every shift, every game.”
Francis also liked the work of Fleury, the Canes’ first-round draft pick this year, saying, “He did well. He’s a young kid and that’s a tough position to play but he handled himself well.
“Haydn skates well and moves the puck well. He did a lot of good things.”
McGinn was slowed by a leg injury -- a “charley horse,” Francis said -- and was not at 100 percent in the event. Like Rask, he hopes to make the NHL roster this year.
“He’s a very smart player who can play in all situations,” Francis said.
Francis said inviting some of the younger players to the Canes’ training camp could be an eye-opener and beneficial to their development, even though most should wind up back in junior hockey or with the Charlotte Checkers of the AHL.
“Just the experience of it all,” Francis said. “It gives them a chance to see how the pros work, get a feel for what the pace is like.”
The forward groups for the start of camp include Eric Staal working with Jeff Skinner and Elias Lindholm; Jay McClement with Brad Malone and Pat Dwyer; and Ben Holmstrom with Phil Di Guiseppe and Chris Terry in Group A. In Group B, Jordan Staal will be with Jiri Tlusty and Alex Semin; Riley Nash with Nathan Gerbe and Zach Boychuk, and Brody Sutter with Brendan Woods and Greg Nemisz.