Who will make an instant impact for the Carolina Hurricanes in 2012-13?
Two seasons ago, it was forward Jeff Skinner. Last season, defenseman Justin Faulk burst upon the scene as a first-year pro.
"Timing is everything," Carolina's director of amateur scouting, Tony MacDonald, told NHL.com. "You have to be careful, because Skinner and Faulk are the exceptions rather than the rule. It doesn't happen often. When you draft a player in the first or second round, you're not really expecting to see them in your lineup for two or three years … it doesn't happen that often where they jump in and have an impact early on.
"We might be a little spoiled by what [Skinner and Faulk] have done, but there's always a chance a player could have an impact in his first year."
There are several candidates within the pipeline expected to challenge for considerable playing time this season. Despite losing one of their more promising prospects in Boston College defenseman Brian Dumoulin, who was part of the deal that brought Jordan Staal to Raleigh, the Hurricanes appear to be stocked on defense. There's also a nice stable of forwards hoping to impress at the team's training camp in September.