6. Carolina Hurricanes
The Carolina Hurricanes are a team that are on the verge of finding their stride. Following an up-and-down 2016-17 season, the Hurricanes will look to make their move in a stacked Metro division.
Their defensive group returns one of the league’s best power-play scoring defenseman in Justin Faulk. The 25-year old, right-handed defenseman is just a season removed from scoring 12 times with the man-advantage. Moreover, Faulk has increased his goal totals for three straight seasons.
Behind Faulk is another young man waiting to put the NHL on notice in Noah Hanifin. The 20-year old will be a building block for a young Carolina team for many years to come.
The Hurricanes did get some help through the trade market this offseason. Following the NHL Expansion Draft, Carolina received Trevor van Riemsdyk, formerly of the Chicago Blackhawks, from the Vegas Golden Knights.
Those top three options are formidable, and represent a strong start for a developing team. However, there is not enough depth and stability to claim the Hurricanes are among the Metro’s best defenses.