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Bowman Latest to Earn Opportunity

by Paul Branecky / Carolina Hurricanes
It looks as though the Hurricanes will continue to give their young prospects a chance in the big leagues, as the team today recalled Drayson Bowman from Albany of the American Hockey League.

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Bowman, 20, is expected to make his NHL debut at the RBC Center Saturday night against the Atlanta Thrashers. In doing so, he would become the ninth player to suit up for the Hurricanes after starting the season in the minors.  He did not participate in Friday’s limited practice as he had not yet arrived in Raleigh.

To make room for Bowman, who has posted 15 points in his first 27 games as a professional in Albany this season, the Canes reassigned Jerome Samson, who played his first five NHL games over the last week.

Hurricanes coach Paul Maurice said that the decision had little to do with Samson’s performance and more to do with the team’s overall plan to develop its prospects.

“I’m happy with Jerome’s game, but we don’t want a lot of those young guys running at six, seven minutes for a longer period of time,” said Maurice. “He’ll go back down and get into his 20-minute rotation and we’ll bring Drayson up and give him a chance to play.”

Maurice said he was not sure how much ice time Bowman would receive on Saturday. He did however make it clear that the organization did not recall Bowman solely for the sake of giving him NHL experience.“There’s more than that going on here,” he said. “We’re trying to win these hockey games. Jerome was good and he helped, but we don’t want [our young players] developing into those-kind-of-minute players. We want them playing a lot and staying sharp, and we have good players in the American league that we want to see.

”It’s a function of the injuries as much as anything, because the players that we’re playing are helping us win the games that we have,” he continued. “It’s not a matter of sitting out veteran guys or healthy players to play the kids.”

Of all the prospects in the Hurricanes system, Bowman is arguably the best natural goal scorer. In his final two years of junior hockey with Spokane of the Western Hockey League, he scored 89 goals in 128 regular-season games. Here’s what Director of Amateur Scouting Tony MacDonald had to say about that in our “Prospect Profile” series from last season:

He knows how to put the puck in the net and how to make himself available to get the puck. It’s tough to find people that score goals in significant numbers today. A 20-goal scorer in the NHL today is a pretty productive number, and hopefully he’s a guy that we can project to do more than that down the road.

The full article containing that excerpt can be found here.

While Bowman will more than likely enter the lineup without any problems, Maurice said today that there is a possibility of Sergei Samsonov returning from a six-game absence. If that were to occur, the team would need to make one player a healthy scratch, although Maurice acknowledged that Samsonov had a much better chance of returning Monday against Tampa Bay.

In other injury news, Maurice said that Erik Cole and Chad LaRose “are still not ready,” although they practiced again today. Joe Corvo also took the ice and continues to progress nicely.

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