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October Canes Prospect Profile: Andrew Poturalski

Andrew Poturalski helps Checkers to their best ever start

by Nikki Stoudt @NikkiStoudt / CarolinaHurricanes.com

Welcome to the Canes Prospect Profile, presented by Uber, a new monthly feature here on CarolinaHurricanes.com.

Each month we'll take a look at the top-performing Canes prospects across the system. This month, it's Checkers forward Andrew Poturalski, who led Charlotte with 11 points (2g, 9a) in nine games through October.

At 10-1-0 this season, the Checkers are having the best start in franchise history. They currently lead the AHL in terms of both points (20) and points percentage (.909).

Poturalski hit the proverbial ground of the 2018-19 season running, notching four points (1g, 3a) in the Checkers' season-opener at Rockford.

Tweet from @CheckersHockey: What a move by @APots94 👌 pic.twitter.com/NTC4VyefDx

The veteran then carried a five-game point streak through Oct. 19, tallying nine points (2g, 7a) along the way.

"To me, he just looks confident this year," Sergei Samsonov, the Hurricanes' head of Forwards Development said of Poturalski. "But the confidence comes from having success early and not having many down games."

"He's gotten a ton of ice time [this season] and has gotten really comfortable with the grind of the AHL's schedule."

Charlotte's special teams are among the best in the league, with the power play ranked 5th overall (25.9%) and penalty kill ranked 8th (85.5%). Poturalski has one power-play goal through the first 11 games.

Tweet from @CheckersHockey: Cleaning things up out front 🚨 pic.twitter.com/ly84TWr24L

The difference-maker, to Samsonov, is that Poturalski doesn't waste time when it comes to production.

"He's making plays and producing offensively. He doesn't need many chances to produce, score goals or make plays. He just does it and keeps going." 

Example of said play-making:

Tweet from @CheckersHockey: What a play 👀Poturalski with a seeing-eye feed, Kuokkaanen with the laser shot! pic.twitter.com/0XUK24qH4J

The Hurricanes re-signed Poturalski this June to a one-year, two-way contract following his second full season at the professional level. 

ONE TO WATCH

Janne Kuokkanen (5g, 5a through Oct. 31) has kept statistical pace with scoring leaders through the first month of the season, owning a multi-goal season opener (2g, 1a) to start and entering November on a four-game point streak (1g, 4a).

Tweet from @CheckersHockey: 🚨🚨 pic.twitter.com/OxJLHUG1TN

"This is another guy who has gained a lot of confidence over the last year," Samsonov said. "Janne is getting used to playing against men in general … when he has the puck, he wants the puck."

Tweet from @CheckersHockey: Kuokkanen welcomes you to Snipe City pic.twitter.com/2Ij1xwmzqI

Welcome to Snipe City.

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