Carolina Hurricanes Roster
The Carolina Hurricanes went 52-21 last season, the second-best record in the NHL, and went to the playoffs. They ultimately lost to the Florida Panthers in the Conference Finals in four games, but return much of their core roster in 2023-24.
No team got more shot attempts per 60 minutes in the National Hockey League last season than Carolina, at 70 per game. There were many nights where they just couldn't convert enough of those shots into goals, but Carolina still had a fine season. One of the keys for this regular season, therefore, is getting a higher scoring percentage off their shots.
Sebastian Aho, the 26-year-old center, scored 36 goals last season and 37 the one before that. He has a lot of talented, if unheralded, teammates on the forward lines. If he can get a bit more help on the Hurricanes roster from guys like Michael Bunting and Seth Jarvis, Aho could easily score 40 goals, maybe 50.
GM Don Waddell has done a good job of building a young roster, and he loves to pull off a big trade now and then. Don't be surprised if Carolina is very active at the NHL trade deadline.
Carolina Hurricanes Defense
The Hurricanes have a very good defense, led by Jaccob Slavin. He might be the best defenseman you've never heard of. He's big and very smooth with the puck in his own zone, and he usually adds 30-40 points of offense a year, too.
Veteran Brent Burns is his defensive partner, and he had a fine first season with the Hurricanes after many years in San Jose. Burns is up there in years now, but he doesn't play like it. He's still one of the league's smartest players, at both ends.
Carolina Hurricanes Goaltending
If there is one worry with the Hurricanes, it's in goal.
Frederik Andersen posted just a .903 save percentage last season, well below his career average of .915. He needs to get that number back to normal if the Carolina Hurricanes hockey club is to succeed in 2023-24.
Andersen's backup is veteran Antti Raanta, who has been mostly a mediocre journeyman in his career. It's on Andersen to up his game if Carolina is to win a Cup.
Notable Carolina Hurricanes Team Players
Sebastian Aho is certainly the team's best offensive player, but there are other good scorers here too.
Included are forwards such as Michael Bunting, Teuvu Teravainen, Seth Jarvis, Jordan Staal, Jesper Fast and Martin Necas.
Defensively, Jaccob Slavin and Brent Burns are the top pairing, and they will get plenty of ice time from coach Rod Brind'Amour. Carolina's defense has a good 3-4 pairing as well, with Brady Skjel and Brett Pesce. Frederik Andersen is the No. 1 goalie.
Carolina Hurricanes Most Important Games
We are already in the midst of one of Carolina's most important stretches of the regular season. After winning on opening night at home against Ottawa at PNC Arena, Carolina embarked on a five-game Western road trip, with tough customers on the schedule such as Los Angeles and Colorado.
Being away so long from PNC Arena will be a good early test for Carolina. As always, games within their own Metropolitan Division will be important for the Hurricanes. But others from the Atlantic Division will be big as well, and that includes their first game against the team that vanquished them from the Eastern Finals last season, Florida. The first Hurricanes vs Panthers matchup doesn't happen until Nov. 10.
The Oct. 21 game in Colorado will be a big test for Carolina, but the Hurricanes have played well in Denver over the years. An Oct. 26 home game against Seattle also will be big. The first game at home after a long road trip often is one of the tougher ones to win. It'll be interesting to see how Carolina responds after so much time on the road.
NHL Hurricanes 2023-2024 Season Outlook
It should be a very good season for Carolina. It'll be important to have a good month of October, especially with so many games on the road early. While the future appears to be bright for the Hurricanes, things can change quickly in the NHL.
The Hurricanes have achieved at least 110 points in the last three seasons, and I don't see that changing this season. As long as Carolina stays reasonably healthy and gets good goaltending from Frederik Andersen, this team should win their division and get home ice for at least the first round of the playoffs. This team features a lot of good, young players, who should be hungry to get to that next level.
Carolina Hurricanes Arena
Carolina plays at PNC Arena in Raleigh, which seats 18,680 for hockey. Diehard fans in North Carolina are know as "Caniacs."
How to Get Tickets to Hurricanes Games?
Tickets are available at the PNC Arena box office, ticket outlets such as Ticketmaster and StubHub, and through the team's website. The team frequently sells out, so it's wise to get in early if you can.
Carolina Hurricanes FAQs
The Carolina Hurricanes' Twitter (now known as "X") account is @Canes. You can access the account at twitter.com/canes or on the X smartphone app. You can follow their current feed for live score updates, analysis, behind-the-scenes moments, and more content related to the Carolina Hurricanes team.
There is only one NHL hockey team in North Carolina, and that is the Carolina Hurricanes. There are 32 teams in total in the NHL. While most states only host one team, there are several that have multiple teams, including California, Florida, New York, and Pennsylvania.
Even though they don't play in the same division, one of Carolina's biggest rivals is the Boston Bruins. The teams have met frequently in the playoffs over the years. There is no love lost between the two organizations. The Philadelphia Flyers and Washington Capitals are big rivals of the Hurricanes, as well.