Breaking the Canes: The Blue Line
RALEIGH, NC – As we continue to unravel the projected roster the ‘Canes will skate on Thursday night against the Islanders, today brings us to defensemen.
Breaking the Canes: The Advanced Group
While the pairings will almost certainly change over the course of the season, recent practice pairings have led us to believe that it could be the regular season opener duos.
Pair 1: Jacob Slavin – Tony DeAngelo
Pair 2: Brady Skjei – Brett Pesce
Pair 3: Ian cole – Ethan Bear
Additional: Brendan Smith
Starting with the top pair, the emergence of Jacob Slavin as one of the most stable defenders in the league is expected to continue this year. Entering his seventh season as a pro, the assistant captain just doesn’t have any real holes in his game. He’s defensively responsible, moves the puck well and doesn’t shoot penalties, as evidenced by his title. 2021 recipient of the League’s Lady Byng Memorial Trophy. He won’t lead the league by scoring by a defender, but that’s not necessary, especially if Tony DeAngelo can produce as he did during the 2019-20 season.
Totaling 53 points in 68 games, DeAngelo certainly has the fuel for a year of rebound. Eager to take advantage of his new opportunity, “Tony D” hopes to demonstrate that Canes’ management made a valid decision by bringing him on board.
While DeAngelo is expected to be the quarterback for one of the club’s two power play units, another member of the defensive squad who could anchor the other unit is Brett Pesce . Due to a much discussed start from the blue line this offseason, there is a vacancy for someone to show what he can offer on the men’s advantage and so far in training camp and pre-season action, it was # 22. Also entering his seventh season as a pro, it almost seems like “why not” is the main reason he got this chance. He has shown what he can offer playing in a full-time role in the NHL over the past few seasons and with strong offensive production during the shortened 2020-21 campaign, the right-handed shot appears to have the ball in his back. camp in terms of seizure. the role.
Paired with Brady Skjei five-on-five for almost the entire camp, the Canes 2020 deadline acquisition is hoping to show a little more in his first 82-game campaign with the club. Totaling 10 points last year, the former New York Rangers first-round pick has already collected 39 points in one season and feels confident he can come back within range of this stadium again.
To complete the group, Ian cole is quite an anchor to keep the third couple defensive. A grizzled veteran who brings an element of tenacity, his association with another newcomer Ethan Bear is a very suitable combo. Bear, who has only played two full seasons in the NHL, has shared on several occasions that he is a huge fan of Brind’Amour’s systems and that he can reinvent himself here in Raleigh if he wishes. . One of the highlights of all preparations for Thursday’s game, Bear’s offensive production led the pull, recording a hat trick in the team’s Red-White scrum and scoring in the pre-season final. club season against Nashville. Cole, a smart player in his own right, will do very well and retain his defensive responsibilities, giving Bear the privilege of jumping into the game whenever he sees fit.
So with all of that being said, balance seems to be the word that comes to mind.
Offensive specialists are present, responsible defenders are also in the game.
And if something goes wrong, Brendan Smith is a very formidable “next man up”. With games from ten seasons of experience in the league, he could slip into just about any combo.
For a team that is built with speed, skill and the ability to score up front, the blue line certainly has a good set of complementary pieces and trustworthy workers. Also similar to the forwards group, the majority of the defensive group has inspired the belief that their best hockey is yet to come, which is all the more exciting.
There are two days left, all of you.