Monday, July 22, 2013
Hidden prize for the 'Canes?
By Luke Lapinski
Sergey Tolchinsky may not be on many radars at the moment, but he's doing what he can to work his way into the NHL. And he started his journey on the right foot at the Carolina Hurricanes' prospect development camp. The young Russian forward went undrafted last month, but showed flashes of brilliance at the event -- enough to catch the eye of Kirk Muller.
"He’s probably the biggest surprise or explosive guy this week who made people look at him," the 'Canes head coach said. "He didn’t get drafted -- let’s be honest, probably people said it was his size. There’s a good example of you look at him, you get to know him, he’s got a great attitude and is a fun-loving guy and he plays hard and he produces. He's a guy that I would say that really made us turn our heads."
That's high praise. And while it obviously doesn't guarantee Tolchinsky a path to the NHL, it's a step in the right direction. His 5-foot-8, 164-pound frame means he'll have to fight an uphill battle to make his mark against the best hockey players in the world, but it certainly doesn't make it impossible. Carolina only had four picks in June's draft, so he might be someone they'll want to keep an eye on. And, even if he doesn't catch on with the Hurricanes, his performance at prospect camp -- as well as the 26 goals and 25 assists he posted with the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds of the OHL last season -- could get him some attention from other clubs.