The Carolina Hurricanes’ greatest strength might be their defense group. With the likes of Dougie Hamilton, Brett Pesce and Jaccob Slavin all taking on large roles, along with a solid group of young defensemen waiting to earn their ice time, the Hurricanes look to be set on the back end. With so much depth on defense, however, it means other prospects who could be competing for spots on many other NHL rosters get lost in the mix. One of those defensemen is Gustav Forsling.
The Hurricanes acquired Forsling last offseason, as part of a deal that sent Calvin de Haan to the Chicago Blackhawks. Upon joining the Hurricanes, Forsling had played 122 NHL games with the Blackhawks over three seasons. Last season, however, was the first season since Forsling came to North America that he didn’t spend time in the NHL.
He’s still just 24 years old and had a productive year with the AHL’s Charlotte Checkers, scoring eight goals and 26 points in 57 games and for what it’s worth, he also had the best plus/minus rating of any defenseman on the team. I thought it could be a good idea for the Hurricanes to use Forsling as a spare this season but with the addition of Joakim Ryan, that’s looking less likely now.
The Hurricanes already have six legitimate NHL defensemen, along with Ryan as a spare and Jake Bean, who will likely get some time in the NHL this season. Even after those players mentioned, Forsling would be competing with the likes of Joey Keane and Roland McKeown, among others.
So while Forsling may be able to crack other NHL rosters, it seems as though he’s going to have trouble finding his way into the Hurricanes’ lineup. If he’s not going to get any playing time anyways, it may be worth it for the Hurricanes to see if they can get a draft pick for Forsling, though the market is pretty brutal right now.
Perhaps Forsling will be able to work his way up the depth chart this season but for now, it appears as though he and the Hurricanes aren’t a great match.
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Here’s today’s poll questions (results and discussion will be posted in a future article):
Do you think Gustav Forsling will earn a permanent spot in the Hurricanes' lineup at some point?